In-Depth Oral Examinations for Better Dental Health

Effective general dental care relies heavily on routine examinations that allow your dentist to inspect your teeth, gums, and oral tissues for signs of developing issues. Through your regular checkups, you can reduce your risks of tooth decay and gum disease, as well as the need for restorative dental care to address them. By contrast, an in-depth examination from your oral surgeon includes a specialized oral pathology examination to check for and diagnose serious diseases, including oral cancer.

Understanding Oral Pathology

Different branches of dentistry focus on specific areas of your dental health. For example, a periodontist is an expert when treating and maintaining your periodontal tissues (which include your gums). Likewise, an oral surgeon specializes in issues that require extensive oral treatment, such as surgery, and in the intricate biology of your mouth and oral tissues. Particularly, oral pathology deals with diagnosing such diseases so we can plan an appropriate course of treatment to address them.

What We Look for in an Oral Examination

During your oral examination, we will look for a number of abnormalities that could indicate a pathological health issue. For instance, early stages of oral cancer can cause certain types of symptoms to appear in your mouth and throat, such as;

  • Ulcers and lesions
  • Growths that do not subside
  • Sores that bleed excessively
  • White, red, or darkly discolored patches in your oral tissues and throat
  • Red and/or swollen areas of tissue
  • And more

If we detect something that may be cause for worry, we can perform an oral biopsy to obtain a more accurate diagnosis. A biopsy involves removing a small portion of the tissue in question so we can study the organism in a lab setting, using advanced imaging and diagnostic equipment.


Dr. Shawn Hofkes and the staff at Cerritos Dental Surgery are highly qualified to address complex issues, including those that require oral surgery to correct. To schedule an appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today by calling 562-584-4082. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.