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Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology deals with the identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions. These pathologic processes can range from blocked salivary glands, skin and mucosal lesions, benign dental cysts and tumors, to head and neck cancer (H&N Ca), and even insect and animal bites.

Salivary glands in the mouth secrete saliva and a variety of enzymes to help process foods and make swallowing easy. The most common problem with salivary glands is the formation of stones in the small ducts. These stones can prevent the free flow of saliva. The glands then swell as they cannot empty. While the problem may resolve on its own, frequently antibiotics and surgery are required. These salivary glands can, also, become infected or inflamed, causing pain and swelling, especially during or immediately after a meal. We sometimes see the development of benign or malignant cancers associated with both major and minor salivary glands. Dr. Arné will discuss treatment options with you in a manner that is easily understood. Together you will determine exactly how to achieve the best result.

Skin and mucosal lesions can have numerous causes and can be benign or malignant. Many individuals are genetically predetermined to develop these types of lesions and the immune system is simply waiting for the right “environmental trigger” to occur to produce a lesion. Whether it is a viral, environmental (cigarette smoke, asbestos, vaping, etc…), bacterial, or allergic response, the immune system correctly identifies the triggering event but continues to respond even after the stimulus and its effects have passed. Your treatment will depend on the specific diagnosis, side effects, and outcome. Dr. Arné will thoroughly discuss all treatment options and will make recommendations based on how he would treat a family member.

Most dental cysts and tumors of the head and neck are benign and can be removed relatively easily. Unfortunately, the other types of dental cysts that we encounter can be locally destructive or can have a high recurrence rate. This requires more extensive surgery and reconstruction. Please speak with Dr. Arné regarding what category your diagnosis falls into and what treatment options are available for you individually.

Treatment of head and neck cancers depends on the type of cancer, location, size, and spread/ metastasis. Some H&N cancerous tumors can be excised with clear margins while others require radiation and/or chemotherapy. As a patient who has undergone thyroid cancer treatment himself, Dr. Arné understands the questions and concerns that a patient may have. Patients can be assured that he will do his very best to relieve the stress and strain associated with the diagnosis to help you remain positive and move forward.

Insect and animal bites are not usually classified under pathology. However, given the semi-rural area that we live in, interaction with various insects and animals can lead to outrageous infections. Having encountered and treated numerous types of bites throughout his career, and because of his background in disaster medicine, Dr. Arné has a unique skillset and experience when it comes to bites and subsequent issues in the head and neck region.

We have several methods of anesthesia available. Learn More