The health of your teeth, mouth and oral tissues, as well as the upper and lower jaws, is a responsibility that is shared by both you and your dentist. When unwanted changes develop, it is essential that they be assessed, diagnosed, and treated appropriately. Your dentist has the specialized training to recognize unwanted tissue changes (pathology) and may recommend intervention, testing or further assessment for these conditions.
Many of the common findings will be benign (non-life threatening), and the symptoms may range from being annoying, painful, destructive or just unsightly. Some conditions may have no initial symptoms and will be discovered on a routine oral examination or X-ray. Where the diagnosis is uncertain, a biopsy (tissue sample) may be recommended so that appropriate treatment can be planned.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon has extensive training and expertise in helping to assess, diagnose and treat conditions involving the lower face, mouth and neck. Dr. Johnson will usually make treatment recommendations and provide the necessary care to manage these conditions. His staff members work in conjunction with your referring health care provider to ensure that prompt evaluation and treatment are provided.
Some of the more common conditions that Dr. Johnson sees include blocked salivary and minor salivary glands, fibroepithelial polyps secondary to dental tissue trauma, odontogenic (jaw) cysts, and mucosal lesions such as white patches and non-healing ulcers which may be signs of an early cancer.