What is an Oral Tumor?
An oral tumor is an abnormal growth or mass that occurs in the mouth or surrounding structures such as the jaw, tongue, or lips. Oral tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). They can vary in size, shape, and appearance and may cause symptoms such as pain, difficulty swallowing, or changes in speech. Oral tumors may require medical treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
When Should You Get Checked for an Oral Tumor?
It is recommended to get checked for an oral tumor as soon as possible if you notice any changes in your mouth, such as a lump or sore that does not go away, difficulty swallowing or speaking, numbness or tingling in the mouth or lips, or changes in the way your teeth or dentures fit. You should also get checked regularly for oral tumors during your routine dental checkups. It is important to catch any potential abnormalities early on for the best chance of successful treatment.
What Methods Can an Oral Surgeon Use to Find a Tumor?
An oral surgeon can use a variety of methods to find a tumor, including:
- Physical examination: The oral surgeon will examine the mouth, head, and neck for any abnormalities or lumps that may indicate the presence of a tumor.
- X-rays: X-rays can help the oral surgeon visualize the inside of the mouth and detect any abnormal growths or tumors.
- CT scan: A CT scan is a detailed, three-dimensional image of the inside of the mouth that can help the oral surgeon identify a tumor.
- Biopsy: A biopsy involves taking a small sample of tissue from the suspected tumor and examining it under a microscope to determine if it is cancerous.
- MRI: An MRI is a detailed image of the inside of the mouth that can help the oral surgeon identify a tumor.
- PET scan: A PET scan is a specialized imaging test that can help the oral surgeon identify areas of the body with abnormal metabolism, which may indicate the presence of a tumor.
What Happens if an Oral Surgeon Finds a Tumor?
If an oral surgeon finds a tumor during a surgery or examination, they will usually refer the patient to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment. This could include a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, or a head and neck surgeon. The specialist will then determine the best course of action based on the type and stage of the tumor, as well as the overall health and medical history of the patient. Treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these methods. It is important for the patient to follow the recommendations of their healthcare team and seek support from loved ones during this process.
Would You like to Schedule an Appointment?
If you are in need of oral surgery or would like to discuss your options with one of our team members, please do not hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you and helping you achieve your dental and oral health goals.