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Mouth Conditions and Diagnoses

Providers at Advanced ENT Services offer care for a range of oral conditions, including cleft palate, cleft lip, mouth sores, and oral cancer.

Request An Appointment or Refer a Patient | Call 914.693.7636

Please fill out this brief form to request an appointment. A representative from WMCHealth Physicians Advanced ENT Services will call you via the phone number you include on this form. We accept most insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid; please ask the practice representative who calls you to see if we accept your insurance plan. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Please fill out this brief form to request an appointment.

Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip

The most common birth defects are cleft palate and cleft lip. Just about one in 2,000 babies is born with a cleft palate, and close to one in 1,000 is born with a cleft lip. When the two sides of either the roof of the mouth or lips do not fuse, the result is a cleft palate/lip. What causes this defect is still unknown, and close to 30 percent of all defects are cleft palate and about 20 percent are cleft lip. Of all babies born with birth defects, just over 50 percent have either a cleft palate or cleft lip.

Cleft Palate

A cleft palate can form in the roof of the mouth, the uvula or both. The roof of the mouth is called the hard palate and the uvula is called the soft palate. Cleft palates are often associated with feeding problems, as babies can’t suck or swallow normally. A little one may also experience speech difficulties, hearing trouble, regular ear/sinus infections and dental problems. Surgery can repair a cleft palate; the process takes between 12 and 18 months. To fully correct the defect, additional surgery may be required.

Cleft Lip

When the upper lip fails to fuse together, two fissures (or clefts) are formed instead. A cleft can be small, but it can also extend from the upper lip to the nose. Cleft lip is easily identified at birth, and this defect can be corrected through simple plastic surgery.

Mouth Conditions and Diagnoses

Providers at Advanced ENT Services provide care for a wide range of conditions and diagnoses of the mouth. Select a condition below for more information:

 

Canker Sores

Canker sores are small, whitish ulcers that usually have reddish borders. They appear inside the mouth, and they can be very painful. They’re not contagious, and most heal within one to two weeks. One can take prescription drugs or get over-the-counter topical treatment to reduce canker sore pain.

Cold Sores

Cold sores, otherwise known as fever blisters, are blisters filled with fluid that form around the mouth or on the lips. Caused by the herpes simplex virus, cold sores can be both contagious and painful. These usually appear during or after a fever, sunburn, trauma, hormonal changes, or emotional distress. As of now there’s no cure for cold sores, but one can use prescription ointments to help alleviate the pain. One should also wash their hands frequently and not share personal products, as doing these things can prevent the spread of the infectious virus that causes cold sores.

Candidiasis

Candidiasis is a mouth sore that’s caused by a fungal infection. Also known as oral thrush, it’s associated with painful, cream-looking patches that form on the mouth’s moist areas. One can experience difficulties swallowing and/or tasting if they have candidiasis. Those who wear dentures often or have immune system problems are prone to candidiasis; sometimes, these infections can occur as a result of an unrelated antibiotic treatment. The mouth is at risk for candidiasis when normal healthy bacteria aren’t as prevalent. Saliva substitutes and anti-fungal creams can be used as treatments for candidiasis.

White Patches

Chronic irritation that’s caused by cheek chewing, dentures, and braces can sometimes cause white patches to form inside the mouth. While these patches are often benign, one should alleviate the irritation as this is what will allow natural healing to occur.

Leukoplakias

Leukoplakias are thick, white lesions that most often form below or around the tongue, cheeks, or gums. While these are usually painless, they can become cancerous over time. Tobacco users experience these more than those who don’t use tobacco; a biopsy will likely be needed for a specialist to make an accurate diagnosis.

Oral Cancer

Red or white patches of mouth tissue, along with small painless ulcers that can look like cancer sores, are signs of oral cancer. This cancer usually forms on the tongue or mouth floor, but it can occur on any tissue that’s in or around the mouth. Oral cancer can affect the tonsils, adenoids, uvula, both palates (hard and soft), the inside of the cheeks, gums, teeth, lips, the area behind the wisdom teeth, and the salivary glands. While some lesions are benign, others may be malignant or precancerous. The following are two types of precancerous cells that can occur in the mouth:

  • Leukoplakias: Leukoplakias consist of thick, white lesions that most commonly form beneath or around the tongue, cheeks, or gums. These mouth sores are most often seen in tobacco users.
  • Erythroplakias: These lesions appear as red, raised areas in the mouth and are more likely to be malignant than leukoplakias.

To diagnose either leukoplakias or erythroplakias, a biopsy will be needed.

The most common kind of oral cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. Oral cancer is most common in adults ages 45 or older. If oral cancer metastasizes, it can spread to the lymph nodes in the neck.

If you have a mouth sore that won't heal, please contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our otolaryngologists.

Find an ENT Provider Near You in New York

To see a board-certified ENT doctor at one of our many practice locations in the Hudson Valley, please call 914-693-7636 or request an appointment using the form below. A representative from WMCHealth Physicians Advanced ENT Services will call you at the phone number you include on this form. We accept most insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid; please be sure to ask the practice representative who calls you if we accept your insurance plan. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Please fill out this brief form to request an appointment.