Mouth, Throat, & Voice
The mouth, throat and voice are all subject to a variety of disorders. These may be due to a congenital defect, infection, allergic reaction, tumor or another cause. Having a doctor diagnose and treat conditions affecting the mouth, larynx or voice box and throat can provide a patient with significant relief of symptoms of either chronic or acute problems.
We provide treatments for the following:
- Mouth Sores and/or Infection
The mouth is susceptible to a multitude of conditions that may result in an infection or the development of sores. Even if a sore appears to be minor, it can be indicative of a more serious disorder. Oral problems may be associated with the use of certain prescription medications or benign conditions including cold sores, canker sores and oral thrush. In other cases, the condition may be a result of oral cancer so a thorough evaluation should take place in order to accurately diagnose and treat the underlying cause.
- TMJ The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the small joint located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet. The TMJ moves during talking, yawning, chewing and swallowing. It is one of the most frequently used joints in the body. Proper functioning of the TMJ includes the use of several muscles, ligaments and bones. The temporomandibular joint enables the jaw to move and function normally. Any conditions that prevent these components from working properly may cause a TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. TMJ disorders can cause pain and discomfort that can be intermittent or constant and may last for many years. TMJ discomfort can sometimes flare up because of stress.
- Tonsil and Adenoid Disease
The tonsils are two masses of tissue found on either side of the back of the throat. The adenoids are located behind the nose and high in the roof of the mouth. Together they form part of the lymphatic tissue at the back of the throat. They are an integral part of our immune system that protects the upper respiratory tract and prevents disease. The tonsils and adenoids assist the body in defense against infection by "sampling" entering bacteria and viruses and becoming infected themselves. They then help form antibodies to resist and fight future infections.
- Hoarseness Hoarseness is a condition characterized by a weakened, breathy or roughened sound when speaking. It is a common problem that occurs when the vocal cords within the throat become swollen. Hoarseness usually resolves on its own in one to two weeks. Most cases of hoarseness are due to colds and other minor irritations, but it may be a symptom of a more serious illness as well.
- Swallowing Problems Though we often take our ability to eat and speak for granted, many people have difficulty with these tasks and may experience pain, discomfort and lack of control when trying to speak. Swallowing is a very complex bodily function, requiring the active response of several nerves and muscles, two muscular valves, and the esophagus, or swallowing tube. The swallowing process follows a long path from the mouth to the stomach, and is vital to gastrointestinal health.
- Benign and Malignant Tumors of the Mouth, Throat and Larynx
Tumors may develop in the mouth, throat or larynx, which is also referred to as the voice box. These growths can be either benign or malignant, so an accurate diagnosis is important. The symptoms of a tumor in these areas can vary depending on the type and location of the growth, but may include a lesion or white patch in the mouth, bleeding, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or earache. After undergoing diagnostic testing to determine the condition causing the tumor, a customized treatment plan will be developed that may include surgery to remove the affected tissue.
- Coughing and Throat Clearing
A cough is a reaction to an airway irritation. It is generally the symptom of an illness or allergy. Some coughs are considered productive, which means they help to remove mucus from the lungs usually due to respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Others are considered nonproductive, and these are dry coughs that typically occur in response to exposure to an irritant such as smoke or because of a cold. Coughs may also be brought on by persistent problems including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or gastroesophageal reflux disease. The type of treatment for a cough will vary depending on its cause. Most coughs respond well to the use of a humidifier and increased fluid intake.
We provide complete medical and surgical care for these symptoms.