Pathology, in general, is the study of disease. An oral pathologist is an expert of diseases and pain disorders affecting the oral and facial region.
Sometimes, oral pathology cases involve oral cancer. There are many symptoms of mouth cancer. Occasionally, lumps or sores can form inside the oral cavity, which may be a sign of a pathologic process, or cancerous growth. The most serious of these is oral cancer.
Common symptoms of oral cancer and other abnormalities may include (but are not limited to) the following:
All abnormal lesions or findings which are present for more than two weeks should be evaluated by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon like Dr. Cohen at Park Smiles NYC, and biopsied if indicated and necessary. A biopsy involves removing a small piece of a lesion for laboratory evaluation & diagnosis. Other lesions or cysts may also be associated with wisdom teeth, and may not be noticed until routine x-rays are taken.
As oral pathology is a broad science that deals with diseases of the mouth in general, the course of treatment is established on a patient-specific basis.
Although not exceedingly common, cysts and tumors can develop in the jaw bone. They can be completely asymptomatic and discovered on a routine x-ray. On occasion, the cyst or tumor can reach large sizes, causing pain, discomfort and disfigurement. Benign or malignant lesions can also occur on the soft tissues of the oral cavity. All lesions in the mouth or jaw need to be evaluated and possibly biopsied.
Treatment options for jaw tumors and cysts vary, depending on your symptoms, the type of lesion you have, and the lesion’s stage of growth. In rare cases, medications may help, but they usually require surgical management.
Dr. Cohen has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating benign cysts and tumors of the jaw. He will clinically and radiographically evaluate the lesion or infection and discuss your treatment needs during your initial consultation.
When a large portion of the upper or lower jaw is removed due to a cyst or tumor, reconstruction surgery is often needed. Typically, reconstruction is performed in staged procedures to optimize the outcome, or may sometimes be performed at the same time. Dr. Cohen utilizes 3-D technology to assist him with the excision of jaw tumors and the immediate stabilization of the jaw bones with a reconstruction plate. This will minimize the deformity from soft tissue collapse and improve the function of the jaw during the initial healing phase.
This is followed by a bone graft procedure to reconstruct the bony defect. Dr. Cohen will typically harvest bone from the patient’s hip and transplant it to the defect, in essence creating a new jaw for the patient.
Patients who have been edentulous (missing teeth) for most of their life lose bone mass and volume as they age. It becomes uncomfortable and impossible for them to wear dentures. On occasion, their lower jaw (mandible) becomes so thin (atrophic) that a small amount of force can cause it to fracture. In those instances, Dr. Cohen uses an advanced technique to simultaneously place implants and build up the lower jaw with a graft to restore size and strength to the lower jaw.
Lifelong, regular follow-up exams after treatment by Dr. Cohen can address any recurrence of jaw tumors and cysts early.
If you suspect that you may have signs or symptoms of mouth cancer, or if you have any other unusual lesions, please contact Park Smiles NYC at your earliest convenience for a thorough examination.
Announced in 2017 in New York Times Magazine as one of the top 20 oral surgeons and “Super Specialists” in New York City – selected by local medical experts!