Oral Pathology

Oral pathology or oral cancer can be diagnosed and treated by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Dr. Peak is trained to detect and evaluate pathologic changes in the lips, the lining of the cheeks, the roof of the mouth, the gum tissue, all surfaces of the tongue, the face, and even the neck. Pathologic changes may or may not result in pain, and patients are urged not to ignore any lesions, lumps, or bumps that may occur without pain. It is important to note that the risk for oral cancer is not associated with the presence or absence of pain.


An alteration in the texture or appearance of the oral tissues could be a warning sign signaling oral cancer. The following signs and symptoms should be professionally evaluated for the possibility of oral cancer:

  • Red lesions (erythroplakia) or white lesions (leukoplakia) which are visibly evident in the mouth

  • A slow or unhealed sore that continues to bleed easily

  • A thickening lump in the soft lining of the mouth

  • Chronic (long-term) sore throat or hoarseness

  • Newly developed difficulty with chewing or swallowing

Personalized Surgical Intervention

Dr. Peak is qualified to perform a clinical oral cancer screening as well as tissue biopsies of suspicious lesions. As an oral surgeon, Dr. Peak also specializes in the surgical removal of tumors, cysts, and lesions, followed by reconstructive surgery, if necessary.

BRONJ (Bisphosphonate-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw)

Bisphosphonate Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (BRONJ) is the term that is used to describe a process by which the jaw bone dies after an 8 week period of exposure in the mouth of a person who has undergone bisphosphonate therapy. Bisphosphonates are a particular group of medications that are used to prevent bone deterioration. While the cause is relatively unknown, BRONJ has been listed among the potential side effects of bisphosphonate therapy.

Preventing and Treating BRONJ

Prior to any surgical procedure, please inform our surgical team if you have been treated or are currently being treated with Bisphosphonates. The successful treatment for BRONJ relies upon a high level of communication and teamwork between your physician, your general dentist, and your oral and maxillofacial surgeon. As part of your healthcare team, Dr. Peak can explain your surgical treatment options, helping to select the one that is most appropriate for you.