Oral medicine is that area of dentistry that addresses conditions that have medical characteristics affecting their management, including diseases of the oral mucosa, orofacial pain conditions, salivary gland disorders and taste disorders. It also addresses the dental management of people with medical problems that require special consideration, including people with complicated medical histories, the elderly, and patients who have or have had head and neck cancer.
The special knowledge and experience that many of these situations require is not always readily or consistently available within the existing community practices of many general dentists and dental specialists. Oral medicine is typically practiced as a specialty or sub-specialty, but because it is not officially recognized as a specialty, many people are unaware that it exists, and as a result may have difficulty in obtaining such care.”
“More than 34,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 34,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only half will be alive in 5 years. This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about routinely such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma).”
We routinely screen our patients for cancer and other diseases of the mouth. Biopsies and other tests are usually required to diagnose oral cancer and other intra-oral pathoses.
The Waterlase YSGG advanced laser system represents such a significant breakthrough in the practice of periodontics, esthetic and implant dentistry, that we have devoted an entire website to this cutting edge method of treatment.
We send our biopsies to the Oral Pathology Laboratory at the NY Hospital in Queens, the largest oral biopsy service in the United States.
TMJ, Orofacial Pain and Neuropathy
Temperomandibular Disorder (TMD), commonly referred to as “TMJ”, can present a multitude of symptoms. If you experience frequent headaches, neck aches, upper back pain, soreness in the jaw joints, or periodic tooth pain and sensitivity, you should be evaluated for TMD.
Treatment may be as simple as wearing a custom fabricated nightguard designed to change the way your teeth contact each other.