Doctors in oral medicine
Oro-facial pain (or myo-fascial pain) represents a group chronic painful conditions that affect the face, head and upper neck. The cause of this pain might be related to inflammation around the jaw joint, known as Temporo-Mandibular Joint Disorder (TMD).
Many of those painful conditions can be treated with simple physiotherapy and analgesics. However, moderate and severe cases should be managed using the Occlusal Splint Therapy. The Occlusal Splint is an intra-oral device that patients put on during sleep to relieve tension and inflammation around the TMJ, the chewing muscles and the surrounding ligaments.
Mucosal disorders affecting the tongue, gums and inner lining of the mouth are often difficult to diagnose and require a clinical assessment by an Oral Medicine consultant. Those disorders can be chronic and painful which adversely impact the patient’s quality of life.
There are many causes of erosive or ulcerative oral mucosal lesions. Those could be related to auto-immune diseases or rare forms of hypersensitivity reactions, such as mucous membrane pemphigoid, pemphigus vulgaris, aphthous ulcers, oral lichen planus among others.
Some of those lesions might be pre-cancerous. If there is suspicion, an early diagnosis might prevent the progression to cancer and improve prognosis. Early diagnosis usually requires a small sample taken from the suspicious lesion under local anaesthesia.
Cancers can affect the inner lining of the mouth, the tongue or the floor of the mouth. Most of those cancer can be detected early when changes in the color or texture of the mouth lining are observed.
Because many such changes in the mouth lining represent reactive lesions or other non-cancer diseases, a small sample from the area showing most changes under local anaesthesia is often needed to establish the diagnosis.