Oral Pathology

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
  • 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 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.

We would recommend 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. Please contact us so we may help.

If you are a current or former smoker or tobacco user, the risks for oral cancer are dramatically increased.

Please remember all of the procedures described here are surgical procedures. These surgical procedures are best performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only dental specialists who are fully trained in all of these surgical procedures. Dr. Schelkun, Dr. Kienle and Dr. Steinkeler are all fully trained and experienced in these surgical procedures. All doctors in our practice are board certified in oral and maxillofacial surgery and in anesthesia, and have also earned both a medical and a dental degree.

Drs. Schelkun, Kienle and Steinkeler have the only practice in the Delaware Valley/Tri-State area where all of the surgeons have both their medical and dental degrees, and are board certified in oral and maxillofacial surgery and anesthesia, and in which all of our surgical facilities are fully accredited by the Joint Commission. You can be assured that Drs. Schelkun, Kienle and Steinkeler have the best training and experience, along with the proper staff and facilities, to provide you with exceptional safe and comfortable surgical care.