Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology

Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology

What is Pathology?

Many conditions can manifest in the oral and maxillofacial region.   Abnormalities of the jaws, face and neck is referred to as pathology.  They may need referral for diagnosis, investigation and management.. Oral & maxillofacial surgeons will often work together with your general dentist and other medical and dental specialists to manage these conditions.


There are numerous conditions that can affect the oral maxillofacial region, which include:

Infections, cysts, ulcers, growths, lumps, swellings or other lesions of the bone and/or soft tissues of the jaws and mouth.

Jaw Cyst Management

When fluid-filled cavities replace bone within the jaws, it is known as a jaw cyst which are usually benign and are treated to prevent weakening and fracture of the jaw, infection, and damage to teeth. There are different types of Jaw cysts.  They can develop from cells around the soft tissue of tooth crowns, from around the apices of the teeth, or from cells from which the teeth develop.  Surgery is often required to treat jaw cysts and sometimes adjacent teeth need to be removed as part of the treatment.

Benign Growths

Patients may be referred to an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon if a growth or lesion is discovered at a dental checkup.  Often additional imaging such as a CT scan or MRI may be indicated. Sometime a biopsy (sampling of the pathology) is required for diagnosis. .. Surgical removal may be required.  


An accumulation of pus, which is otherwise known as an abscess, is often a sign of a bacterial infection arising from a decayed tooth where the nerve has died.

However, other conditions to do with the facial sinuses, jaw cysts, blocked salivary glands or the skin can also lead to infections.

Treatment can include antibiotics, surgical drainage of the abscess and careful monitoring of potential complications.