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 pathological 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 and/or 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. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.
At LSU Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Faculty Practice, we manage maxillofacial pathology with ablation, which simply means surgically removing the pathology, and offer various reconstruction options from conventional bone grafts to advanced microvascular reconstruction.
Both clinics in New Orleans and Baton Rouge offer state of the art surgical and reconstructive techniques. We work with expert teams in various tumor boards in both cities to coordinate adjuvant therapy like radiation and/or chemotherapy.