Oral Pathology


   Your dentist performs regular oral hygiene examinations and may find an area that requires further evaluation by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Dr. Morris will discuss with you your medical history, complaints and perform an examination.

   There are numerous variations of tissue in the mouth that are consideral normal and not harmful. There may also be accidental injury or trauma to the tissues that will heal normally with time.

    If the tissue may need further intervention Dr. Morris may recommend observation for a few more weeks or possibly treatment with medication or oral rinses. He may recommend the tissue be removed and sent to the lab for identification. This is usually done under local anesthesia in the office. The tissue is removed and sent to the pathology lab.

     The lab will send a report in around 7 days. Dr. Morris usually has you return to discuss the results, but he also may contact you by telephone.

     Depending on the size, type of tissue, and location of the area of concern it may be biopsied or removed completely. Most procedures are simple and require minimal care post operatively, but some procedures could be quite substantial requiring more recovery time.

The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathological process:

  • Reddish patches (erythroplasia) 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 and/or difficulty in chewing or swallowing

Your dentist should be made aware if these issues occur.