Dr. Patel manages a wide variety of pathology associated with the oral cavity. Patients are often referred by their dentist or physician for the management of soft or hard tissue abnormalities for biopsy. Soft tissue lesions generally involve ulcers, patches, bumps, and discoloration on the gums, lips, cheek, tongue or salivary glands. Hard tissue pathology encompasses alterations in teeth or bone. Abnormal changes in the mouth typically are detected early as the oral cavity is readily accessible. Oral biopsy in the mouth, soft palate, and throat can be carried out comfortably with local anesthesia, and with sedation if indicated. Usually, minimal recovery time is needed.
Biopsies of the mouth, face, and throat are all sent to a board certified head and neck pathologist who specializes in the microscopic/histologic analysis of only oral and maxillofacial pathology of the mouth, head and neck and has the specific expertise to accurately read these specialized tissues properly without missing crucial details.
Tissue changes do not always mean cancer, but certainly need to be evaluated promptly to determine the cause. Since oral cancer kills one person every hour, twenty-four hours a day, in North America, Dr. Patel strongly encourages performing self-examinations monthly to aid in early recognition as well as routine annual office screening.
The things to evaluate when performing self-examinations are:
- red or white patches of the oral tissues
- a sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- an abnormal lump or thickening of the tissues of the mouth
- chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- difficulty in chewing or swallowing
- a mass or lump in the neck
Hard tissue lesions are often unrecognized by patients until a radiographic image sheds light on their existence.