Oral Diseases & Infections

Oral Cancer

Cancer screening and biopsy of questionable tissue is a routine part of an oral surgery practice and we strongly recommend that patients should not ignore any suspicious lumps, sores or discolorations.

If you have any of the following symptoms, your dentist will usually refer you to an oral surgeon, as these may be signs of abnormal or possibly cancerous tissue:

  • Reddish or white patches in the mouth
  • A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
  • A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Fortunately, the bones and soft tissues damaged by oral cancer can usually be repaired or reconstructed surgically.


Patients experiencing pain and swelling in the face, neck or jaws are referred to an oral surgeon for diagnosis and treatment. These are often symptoms of an infection, which can sometimes develop into a life-threatening emergency if not treated promptly and effectively. Surgical treatment, if needed, may include draining the infected area and eliminating the source of the infection.

An infected area around a tooth will often need to be treated with antibiotics before it can be removed. In this case, the antibiotics will be prescribed at the emergency examination appointment and an appointment is schedule to remove the tooth after the swelling is reduced.

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