Discussing Mouth Diseases with Dr. James Sciubba and Dr. Karen Pitman

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Laura Tenbus

April 6, 2018
Some oral cavity lesions like canker sores are annoying and uncomfortable, but in themselves, they aren't harmful and don't require special treatment. Other types of lesions can be more serious. In this interview, Dr. Karen Pitman, Medical Director of GBMC's Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head % Neck Center and Dr. James Sciubba, Consultant of Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine at The Dance Center discuss mouth diseases and how to prevent them from occurring with Reagan, co-host of the Mix 106.5 Morning Show.

Lesions can take many forms, but in essence, the term refers to any abnormal change in body tissue. This can either be benign or malignant, so it's important to see your dentist or doctor if you notice any abnormalities. Some of the biggest warning signs are bleeding, tenderness, and visual changes in tissue. Treatments range from anti-inflammatories and topical treatments to surgery.

Due to the varied nature of oral cavity lesions, there are many possible causes; however certain behaviors increase the risk of lesions developing. Tobacco use and alcohol consumption are two of the biggest external causes of lesions. Tobacco use is especially dangerous and can lead to cancer.

When cancerous or precancerous tissue is found, it is necessary to remove that tissue. For premalignant cells, a small area of the surrounding tissue is removed to prevent the spread of disease. When cancer is found, a significant area of the surrounding tissue is removed. It is likely that lymph nodes will also be removed, and chemotherapy or radiation may be needed.

Although you may not realize it, dentists check for warning signs of these abnormalities at every visit and they are very good at knowing when you should go see a specialist. Make sure that you are regularly visiting your dentist so that diseases can be caught during their early stages, when they are easier to treat.
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