Oral Pathology

The surgeons at Alamitos Oral Surgery treat a wide scope of oral pathology from tooth related cysts to early oral cancer. Often your dentist or physician will detect a suspicious lesion during a routine exam, and ask for our surgical advise for treatment. However, if you notice an unusual growth or lesion in your mouth or jaws, we encourage a consultation as soon as possible. Early detection and diagnosis through a thorough head and neck exam during your consultation will allow appropriate and timely treatment.


that the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommends that everyone – regardless of risk factor – perform a self-examination for oral cancer every month? It only takes minutes, but could save your life. To start, take off removable appliances and restorations, such as dentures and retainers. Using a bright light and a mirror, inspect all surfaces of the mouth, including the roof, floor, cheek walls, tongue, and the gums. Then, use your finger to inspect all surfaces for lumps or swollen lymph nodes.


Do I need an oral pathology screening at Alamitos Oral Surgery?

You may need to see your oral surgeon if the results of your self exam (or from your dentist or physician) have revealed lumps, masses, or unusual red or white patches in your mouth. You should also see your surgeon if you have any mouth sores that have failed to heal or if the tissues of your mouth have thickened. Chronic sore throat or difficulty swallowing may also be a sign of oral cancer.
Keep in mind that there are certain risk factors that increase your chances of developing oral cancer. They include using tobacco, excessive alcohol consumption, and even simple poor hygiene. The human papilloma virus has also been associated with oral cancer development, as has age and infectious disease.

What should I expect during your consultation?

Your consultation will include a thorough head and neck exam, and possibly a screening cone beam CT scan conveniently in our office. Our surgeons may then recommend a biopsy. This can be done under general anesthesia in our office for your comfort. During this procedure, your mouth will be numbed and a small section of the affected tissue removed. The sample tissue will be sent to pathology laboratory for examination. Once the results are obtained after a short period, your surgeon will discuss your options for treatment.

Will I need to follow any special instructions following a biopsy?

After a biopsy, it is normal to experience some minor bleeding and swelling after the procedure. Apply ice to help minimize swelling, and for bleeding apply pressure by biting on gauze afterwards. Please allow 5-10 days for your surgeon to received the results from the pathologist. These results will be discussed at a followup appointment. All results will be discussed in person and kept confidential.