Oral health is an important part of your overall well-being. However, a number of conditions can affect the health of your mouth, including complications from cancer treatment.

At Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute, we offer one of the few oral medicine and oral oncology programs in Florida to help meet your oral health needs. Whether you need support for complications after your cancer treatment or care for certain oral, non-tooth related diseases, we can help. Our oral medicine specialists provide comprehensive care for orofacial conditions.

What conditions do we treat?

We provide care for a range of conditions affecting the mouth and surrounding areas. Conditions we treat include:

  • Leukoplakia (white patches inside the mouth) and other conditions that may be a sign of mouth precancer
  • Mucositis (mouth inflammation) or mouth sores and other oral complications from chemotherapy or radiation treatment
  • Oral lesions and other conditions caused by certain targeted therapies and cancer immunotherapies
  • Canker sores, such as aphthous ulcers that don’t go away on their own
  • Changes in smell and taste or neuropathic issues caused by damaged nerves, such as burning mouth syndrome and unusual pain in the face
  • Lichen planus, a chronic condition that causes pain or irritation in the mouth and is usually accompanied by itchiness and white and red lesions
  • Pemphigoid and pemphigus, or blisters in the mouth
  • Salivary gland diseases, such as dry mouth or Sjögren disease
  • Complications caused by stem cell transplantation, including oral graft-versus-host disease, which causes pain, sensitivity and dry mouth
  • Jaw osteonecrosis, or a jawbone not covered by gums which leads to bone loss
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders (conditions affecting the jaw joints and surrounding muscles and ligaments)
  • Oral infections, such as oral herpes simplex virus infection and fungal infections, like candidiasis
  • Nodular lesions of the mouth such as fibroma or papillomas

What treatments do we offer?

We offer consultations in both outpatient and inpatient settings to understand your oral health needs (non-tooth related). We can then recommend a treatment that’s right for you.

Some of the treatment options we offer for oral health concerns include:

  • Biopsy of oral lesions, which can help diagnose your oral health condition
  • Systemic and topical treatments for oro-maxillofacial diseases (conditions affecting the mouth, jaws or other aspects of the oral cavity)
  • Non-surgical sequestrectomy (removal of diseased or damaged bone) in your mouth
  • Intralesional therapy, which a medication to target oral lesions directly
  • Trigger point injections

What can you expect?

When you come to us for oral medicine services, we work to understand your health needs and offer treatment to help you feel better.

To start, we typically schedule a 30-minute consultation. During this time, our expert oral medicine specialists will perform a thorough oral exam. If you have any lesion in your mouth, we may recommend a biopsy to help with the final diagnosis.

For patients with cancer, our experts have been a part of your existing cancer treatment team from the start. We can provide education at the beginning of your treatment journey about how cancer treatment can affect your oral health. We’ll also work with your other care providers to recommend treatment when and if oral complications arise.

Oral Oncology Fellowship Program

Oral Oncology Fellowship Program

The Miami Cancer Institute offers a one-year, full-time Oral Oncology Fellowship Program for dentists dedicated to becoming experts in oral oncology and in the management of oral diseases in patients with cancer.

During the fellowship, participants will gain hands-on experience in evaluating, diagnosing, and managing oral diseases for cancer patients through clinical and educational opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • La HIPEC se administra al momento de la cirugía para extirpar tumores en el abdomen. El tratamiento solamente es eficaz si no hay ningún tumor en el abdomen, por lo que los médicos deciden durante la operación quirúrgica si un paciente recibirá el tratamiento de la HIPEC o no.

    Durante la HIPEC, se insertan catéteres (tubos delgados y flexibles) en el abdomen y se bombean agentes quimioterápicos a través de ellos para hacer una especie de “lavado” de quimioterapia. Los agentes quimioterápicos se calientan a poco más de 100 °F. Se ha demostrado que esta técnica, también llamada “quimioterapia caliente”, es más eficaz para destruir las células cancerosas.

  • En muchos tratamientos oncológicos es necesario que los pacientes esperen de cuatro a seis semanas después de la cirugía para empezar el tratamiento de quimioterapia. Con la HIPEC, los agentes quimioterápicos pueden empezar a destruir las células cancerosas mucho antes, lo que se ha demostrado que conduce a mejores resultados.

    Esta técnica además puede administrar una dosis alta de quimioterapia caliente directamente en el tejido donde normalmente el cáncer prolifera o se disemina. El tratamiento no tiene que combatir los tumores existentes para penetrar los tejidos y los agentes calientes tienen más probabilidades de atacar las células cancerosas.

    A diferencia del tratamiento de quimioterapia tradicional, que pasa por el hígado o los riñones hasta llegar al abdomen, la HIPEC evita que otros órganos queden expuestos a los efectos secundarios nocivos.

Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Led by Dr. Alessandro Villa, our oral medicine specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for your oral health needs. Our providers also conduct nationally and internationally recognized research into new oral medicine treatments.

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials

At the Cancer Institute, we treat cancer in today’s patients and offer hope for those who may get the disease in the future.

Through clinical trials, we study promising new ways to diagnose and treat orofacial diseases, including oral cancer complications. As our patient, you have access to these trials and treatments that aren’t widely available elsewhere. If a clinical trial may be right for you, we’ll talk with you about the potential benefits and risks. We make your overall well-being and safety our top priority if you choose to participate.

Interested in a career in oral medicine?

Get a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to work in oral medicine through our Observer program.

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