Monthly Archives: May 2019

Facial tumors and abnormal facial growths

Maxillofacial Surgery for Facial Tumors

If you have a facial tumor, or neoplasm, you may need maxillofacial surgery.

Though not every neoplasm requires surgical treatment, some tumors can pose a serious health threat. Because of this, anyone who notices an abnormal growth on the face should schedule a consultation with an expert in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Facial tumors can also profoundly affect the appearance, so many people choose to have them removed. And, if you decide to go that route — or your surgeon says removal is the right treatment approach – you can rest easy in knowing that the maxillofacial surgery procedure is relatively simple and that, for most patients, the prognosis is excellent.

Facial tumors and abnormal facial growths

Types of Facial Tumors

Neoplasms fall into one of three categories – benign tumors, pre-cancerous tumors and malignant tumors.

Benign growths are generally not life-threatening, and they either grow slowly or don’t change over time. Examples include moles, skin tags, raised scar tissue and neoplasms triggered by insect bites, infection or injury.

Pre-cancerous tumors are growths that are not yet malignant, but are likely to develop into cancer in the future.

Malignant neoplasms are cancerous growths that can grow and cause damage. If the cancer has spread to other areas, the tumor is considered metastatic. 

Diagnosing a Facial Tumor

Certain symptoms, including pain or bleeding near the neoplasm, strongly suggest malignancy. However, to confirm that a tumor is cancerous – or prove that it’s benign – a maxillofacial surgeon needs to perform a biopsy.

A biopsy is a minimally-invasive procedure in which the surgeon removes a sample of the tumor cells. The tissue is then sent to a laboratory, where it’s analyzed by a pathologist.

If the laboratory pathologist determines that a neoplasm is benign, further treatment may not be medically necessary unless the tumor is putting pressure on a facial nerve. Pre-cancerous and malignant neoplasms often require maxillofacial surgery as well as chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Removing a Facial Tumor

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon may remove a neoplasm through one of a few different methods, depending upon the location, size and type of facial tumor. The maxillofacial surgery techniques for removal include:

  • Curettage – For a small neoplasm that’s are close to the skin’s surface, the surgeon may scrape away the affected tissues with a sharp surgical instrument.
  • Excision – When a neoplasm is located deep in the skin, the maxillofacial surgeon may need to make an incision, remove the growth and suture the wound closed.
  • Cryosurgery – Some tumors can be frozen with liquid nitrogen, which works to destroy the tissues.

Having a facial tumor doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. But, since any abnormal growth could be malignant, you should schedule an appointment with an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon if you notice a neoplasm.

For an expert evaluation in the greater east central Indiana area, call on the professional team at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Our board-certified surgeons, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Alderman, have more than ten years of experience diagnosing and treating benign, pre-cancerous and malignant neoplasms.

To schedule a facial tumor consultation with the experienced professionals at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, contact us today.

TMJ symptoms and treatment

Do You Need TMJ Treatment? Warning Signs of Jaw Joint Problems

No diagnostic test can tell you if you need TMJ treatment. So, how are you supposed to know if you have temporomandibular joint disorder?

Oral surgeons are experts in facial conditions and have the skill, knowledge and training to diagnose jaw joint problems. Often, surgeons look to the symptom patients are experiencing to confirm a suspected case of TMJ disorder.

If you notice any of the following red flags, schedule a consultation with an experienced local oral surgeon. Chances are, TMJ treatment could put an end to your problematic systems.

TMJ symptoms and treatment

Chronic Jaw Pain

Ongoing problems with jaw joint pain are characteristic of temporomandibular joint disorder. The pain is often described as a dull ache, and the symptom may come and go.

Facial Pain or Soreness

Many people with TMJ disorder report pain or soreness in the face and neck. This referred pain can affect one or both sides of the body, and it may or may not occur all the time.

Frequent Headaches

TMJ disorder commonly causes recurrent head pain. In fact, medical professionals often mistakenly diagnose TMJ-related headaches as migraines or even sinus headaches.

Persistent Earaches

Pain and pressure in the ear can be due to an infection, but TMJ disorder could also be to blame. Inflammation in the jaw joints frequently leads to aches below or in front of the ears.

Difficult Jaw Movement

Stiffness in the temporomandibular joints is often due to the disorder, as is difficulty in opening and closing the mouth. In some cases, the jaw may lock in place or slip out of position.

Strange Sounds in the Joint

Jaw joints that occasionally pop, click or make grating noises during movement might not be a problem. When the sounds occur frequently, however, TMJ disorder may be the reason.

When to Seek TMJ Treatment

If you spot any warning signs of jaw joint problems, you should schedule an appointment with an experienced local oral surgeon right away. An expert in TMJ treatment can diagnose the disorder and recommend an effective treatment approach.

Surgery isn’t always necessary – some patients get relief from their symptoms through conservative treatment measures. But, when lifestyle changes and non-invasive options fail to alleviate jaw joint problems, oral surgery may be the right solution.

Finding an effective TMJ treatment begins with a diagnosis. If you think you might suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder and you live in Wayne Township, Wayne County or the greater east central Indiana area, make an appointment at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

As specialists in jaw joint problems and related facial conditions, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Alderman have years of experience in TMJ treatment. With their help, you can get relief from your symptoms and start enjoying your life again.

To discuss TMJ treatment with the Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery team, contact us and schedule a consultation today.