Dr. Chawla is trained in the fields of dentistry, medicine, and surgery. She is uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat various pathologic conditions of the oral cavity. Recent research suggests that the best chance of discovering a malignant or pre-malignant lesion in the oral cavity is through regular dental examinations.
The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. The following signs are frequently associated with a pathologic process or cancerous growth:
- Reddish patches (erythroplakia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) 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 in chewing or swallowing
These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology and, curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. Any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for pathology.
Furthermore, a variety of cysts and tumors (mostly benign, rarely malignant) can develop within the jaw bones, and may or may not produce symptoms (pain, swelling, etc). This underlines the importance of regular dental check-ups because your dentist can detect early signs of pathology development on dental x-rays and refer you to see an oral surgeon for further evaluation.
Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores; feel free to contact us so we may help.
Dr. Chawla is highly trained in the evaluation and treatment of such lesions and will make your experience less stressful. Proper evaluation will include a clinical examination along with a radiographic exam and biopsy as needed.
In case of a biopsy a representative sample of tissue is obtained and sent to a pathologist for microscopic evaluation. This process generally takes seven to ten days, after which your surgeon may or may not recommend further treatment.