Oral Surgery (cont.)

Other Conditions Treated by Oral Surgery

  • Facial injury repair. Oral surgery is often used to fix fractured jaws and broken facial bones.
  • Lesion removal and biopsy. Oral surgeons can take a small sample of abnormal growth or tissue and then send it for laboratory testing for identification. Some lesions can be managed medically or can be removed by the oral surgeon.
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate repair. Cleft lip and cleft palate result when all or portions of the mouth and nasal cavity do not grow together properly during fetal development. The result is a gap in the lip and/or a split in the opening in the roof of the mouth. Oral surgeons work as part of a team of healthcare specialists to correct these problems through a series of treatments and surgical procedures over many years.
  • Facial infections. Pain and swelling in the face, neck or jaws may indicate an infection. Infections in this area of the body can sometimes develop into life-threatening emergencies if not treated promptly and effectively. An oral surgeon can assist in diagnosing and treating this problem. Surgical treatment, if needed, may include cutting into and draining the infected area as well as extracting any teeth that might be involved.
  • Snoring/sleep apnea. When conservative methods fail to alleviate this problem, surgery can be tried. Surgical procedures involve removing the soft tissues of the oropharynx (an area in the back portion of the mouth) or the lower jaw. Laser surgery is a newer treatment option. Depending on the surgical technique used, the laser is used to either slowly scar the palate, which tightens it, or to remove palate tissue.

Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Department of Dentistry.

Edited by Charlotte E. Grayson, MD, on May 1, 2005.

Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2005


Last Editorial Review: 6/17/2008

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