The inside of a healthy mouth is smooth and pink in color. Any alteration in appearance or function—including red or white patches, an ulcer that fails to heal, a chronic sore throat or difficulty swallowing—needs to be evaluated by an expert in oral pathology, like Dr. Mizrahi.
An oral pathologist is trained to both diagnose and treat oral disease. Oral pathology focuses on disease in the mouth ranging from cavities, simple inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), periodontal disease, root canal infections and oral cancer.
Determining if there is a connection between oral disease and other systemic disease is also within the responsibility of an oral pathologist. Research is ongoing but points to a link between inflammation and systemic disease as well as the link between diagnosed conditions such as diabetes and periodontal disease.
Other than in the mouth, changes that affect oral pathology can occur on the lips and on the face or neck. While the majority of the lumps or other abnormalities detected are benign, any facial or oral pain without an obvious cause should be examined to rule out oral cancer.
Dr. Mizrahi evaluates each patient to determine if they are at risk for any systemic disease due to oral pathology. Oral health is important to general health. While the links between poor oral health and conditions such as heart disease and low birth weight infants are being researched, oral disease itself is the cause of pain and tooth loss.
Guided by her years of experience and extensive training, Dr. Mizrahi is fully qualified to accurately diagnose and treat a wide range of oral diseases—including mouth and throat cancer, salivary gland disorders, mumps, ulcers and other infections.
Oral Cancer Screening
While the majority of oral pathologies are not life threatening, oral cancer is. If you detect a suspicious lump or physical abnormality in the mouth, schedule a consultation with Dr. Mizrahi as soon as possible. The earlier the diagnosis, the better your chances for a successful treatment.
It is common practice for dentists to examine their patient’s mouth during routine dental visits, paying close attention to areas that are difficult for the patient to see. If Dr. Mizrahi suggests you undergo further screening for oral cancer there is no need to become alarmed. Screening is a proactive way to ensure there is no evidence of oral cancer. Discovering very early stage cancer or precancerous conditions is far preferable than discovering a more advanced oral cancer.
Between dentist visits patients are encouraged to be aware of any changes that persist for more than two weeks. Contact Dr. Mizrahi if any of the following symptoms do not resolve in a short period of time:
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, moving the tongue or jaw
- Noticing a difference in how the teeth fit together
- Red or white patches or a sore that does not go away
- Pain or numbness in the mouth or lips
- Lumps or thickenings
One of the most respected oral surgeons in her field, Dr. Mizrahi is fully trained to assess abnormal growths within the mouth and accurately diagnose—and successfully treat—oral cancers.