Infections in the maxillofacial region can develop into life-threatening emergencies if not treated promptly and effectively. Pain and swelling in the face, jaws or neck may indicate an infection of dental or related origin. If the infection is severe, Dr. Meyers is able to work within the hospital setting to diagnose and treat the problem. For less severe infections, evaluation and treatment may be done in the CPOMS office. Depending on the diagnosis and severity of the case, Dr. Meyers may work with other specialists to provide comprehensive patient care.
The diagnosis of pathology in the maxillofacial region is an important part of Dr. Meyers’ practice. If indicated, biopsies and other tests can be performed to diagnose the problem and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Early detection and treatment of oral lesions greatly improve your prognosis. Lesions may be managed medically and/or surgically.
The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer. The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:
- Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth (Sometimes a lesion may be both red and white.)
- 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 skin, lips, cheeks, palate, tongue, and gum tissue around the teeth, face, and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology and, curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason must be evaluated.
We would recommend your performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly and remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Should you discover something, make an appointment for a prompt examination. Early treatment may well be the key to complete recovery. Please contact us so we may help advise you.