Dr John Fisher, Maxillofacial & Oral Surgeon

Management of pathology of the face and jaws including detection and management of oral cancer

What are tumours of the face and jaws?

Tumours are lumps of tissue growth that can occur in various parts of the body. If you feel swelling in your face or jaws, a consultation with your doctor is recommended. He or she will examine the swelling with the use of scans , and in some cases, send cells to a lab for diagnosis.

How can they be treated?

Tumours can be removed usually under a general anesthetic in hospital. Because of the facial nerves, the surgery is completed very carefully to avoid any nerve damage.

What are cysts of the face and jaws?

A cyst is a kind of sack that is filled with fluid that forms in tissue under the skin. They can develop under the lining of the mouth, in the saliva glands, inside the jawbones and around the roots of the teeth. If cysts become infected, they can cause considerable pain, and can also cause damage to the teeth and jaws.

How can they be treated?

Cysts can be removed surgically – your surgeon will make an incision inside the mouth and remove some of your bone before taking out the cyst. The cyst is then sent for examination in a lab so that your doctor can confirm the diagnosis.

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer or mouth cancer occurs in the form of cells that grow in the mouth, and cause severe damage to the lips, tongue, mouth and cheeks. In some cases, it can affect the sinuses and throat.

How is it detected?

Symptoms of oral cancer include lumps, swelling, bleeding, sores and unexplained pain. Visit your dentist regularly for early detection – he or she will conduct a screening as part of your routine exam.

How can it be managed?

Cancerous growths can be removed surgically, as well as with the use of radiation or chemotherapy.