Have you experienced an alteration in your mouth and jaw areas? Any change can signal something more serious, such as oral cancer. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons specialize in identifying and diagnosing oral concerns quickly to provide early detection, which is crucial for effective treatment. Learn more about our pathology services and schedule an appointment today at Carolinas Centers for Oral & Facial Surgery in Matthews, North Carolina.

Oral surgeons receive years of training to understand, identify, and treat conditions relating to the mouth, salivary glands, and jaws. When you come to Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery for an evaluation, one of our specialists will provide a comprehensive exam and determine next steps for treatment.

The mucosa is the smooth, pink-colored mucus membrane that lines the inside the mouth. It is a common area for an oral abnormality to occur. Abnormalities may include:

  • Canker sores
  • Fever blisters
  • Mucoceles
  • Fibromas
  • Ulcers
  • Cysts and tumors
  • Oral cancer

It is a good idea to perform a monthly exam of your mouth to familiarize yourself with the way your mouth normally looks and feels, as well as allow you to notice any abnormalities early. When you see a specialist for an evaluation, they will want to know how long you have been experiencing symptoms.

Changes that can occur inside the mouth may include:

  • Red or white patches
  • Sore throat
  • Chronic hoarseness
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • A sore that does not heal
  • A painful sore

Some abnormalities may require further evaluation with a biopsy. A biopsy is a small tissue sample of the affected area that is evaluated by a pathologist. The information provided by the pathology will help your oral surgeon determine the next steps for treatment. Your oral surgeon will determine if a biopsy is recommended.

There are three main choices for anesthesia

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Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia provides numbness directly where it is administered. It does not affect consciousness, so the patient remains awake while the feelings of discomfort are eliminated. Local anesthesia is commonly used for minor procedures.

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Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a mild sedative that the patient inhales to alleviate feelings of anxiety. It does not cause the patient to lose consciousness. It is often used together with local anesthesia.

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IV Sedation

IV sedation is commonly used for moderate to extensive oral or facial surgery procedures. This type of sedation is administered directly into the patient’s vein. Since amnesia (forgetfulness) is a common side effect of the medication, most patients who use IV sedation do not remember their procedure.

Many oral conditions aren’t painful, which makes it easy to put off a professional evaluation. However, dangerous conditions such as oral cancer can begin with a painless growth, and early detection is key to effective treatment. If you notice something suspicious in your head or neck area, schedule an appointment with our oral and maxillofacial surgeons in Matthews today at (704) 846-1166.