Pathology

Oral and maxillofacial pathology is a broad field that refers to diseases of the mouth and jaws, as well as the facial muscles and skin. There are a number of types of oral pathology, such as bacterial, fungal or viral infections, premalignant diseases and oral cancer. The most common diseases, such as periodontal (gum) disease are mainly treated by your dentist, but in some instances your dentist may refer you to an Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon for further assessment and treatment.

Pathologies

The most common pathologies that are referred include:

  • Cystic lesions inside the bone, commonly related to the teeth (odontogenic)
  • ‘Lumps & bumps’ on the oral mucosa
  • Discolourations, such as white or brown lesions
  • Malignant growths
  • Osteonecrosis of the jaw, usually as a result of radiotherapy, bisphosphonates or similar

In most cases Dr Henze will perform a biopsy - this will be either a partial (incisional) biopsy, or a total removal (excisional biopsy). The procedure may be carried out under a local or general anaesthetic, depending on the site & size of the lesion.

Post-Operative Care

The stitches inserted during surgery are generally dissolvable and don’t need to be removed.

Biopsies are subject to the normal range of potential post-operative signs and symptoms:

  • Facial swelling
  • Bruising on the face
  • Reduced mouth opening
  • Post-operative bleeding (rare)
  • Infection (rare)
  • Some pain/discomfort

These symptoms gerenally only persist up to one week. Pain can usually be managed with Paracetamol/anti-inflammatories, and ice-packs and a soft, cool diet are also recommended.