Mouth / Throat
We treat a variety of issues relating to the mouth and throat including: sore throat, tonsillitis, tonsillar / adenoid hypertrophy, reflux and more!
The stomach naturally produces acid to digest food. Sometimes this acid flows back and digestive enzymes clog the esophagus. When this occurs frequently, it is called gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), which commonly causes heartburn. Acid can also make its way up the esophagus and into the throat, a condition called Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR). LPR often occurs without heartburn, making it difficult to diagnose, and is often considered a "silent" disease. Symptoms include hoarseness, chronic throat clearing or cough, sore throat, a feeling of something caught in the throat, excessive mucus, difficulty swallowing, and restless sleep. A small amount of reflux is normal. Abnormal amounts left untreated can lead to damage in the throat, upper airway, lungs, vocal cord nodules. It can also cause airway narrowing, granulomas and even cancer.
Hoarseness, an abnormal change in your voice, can be the result of a disorder of the vocal cords. Your voice may sound strained or raspy when you are hoarse. There may also be changes in the pitch and volume of your voice. Your doctor will perform a detail examination of the vocal cords in order to help identify the cause of your symptoms. This may require the use of fiberoptic telescope, a procedure called flexible laryngoscopy.
Also known as dysphagia, "difficulty swallowing" is generally a sign of problems with either your throat or esophagus. Dysphagia is more common in babies, the elderly, and individuals with brain or nervous system disorders, but can affect others as well. Your doctor will perform a detail examination of the throat in order to help identify the cause of your symptoms. This may require the use of fiberoptic telescope, a procedure called flexible laryngoscopy.
Tonsillar/ Adenoid Hypertrophy
Tonsil and adenoid hypertrophy is a term used to describe chronically enlarged or swollen tonsils and the adenoids. The condition can result in nasal obstruction, eustachian tube obstruction, snoring and sleep disorders. Tonsil and adenoid hypertrophy are medical conditions that occasionally occur in adults but most commonly affect children. The exact cause of tonsil hypertrophy is not always clear. Enlargement can be related to tonsillitis or infection of the tonsils and surrounding tissue as a result of the bacteria trapped by the tonsils. It is possible that irritants such as second hand smoke and air pollution can also cause the tonsils to become enlarged. Like tonsil hypertrophy, the cause of adenoid hypertrophy is not completely clear. Irritation from nasal secretions, allergies and sinus infections can cause inflammation of the adenoid tissue. This inflammation can lead to chronic adenoid hypertrophy.
Tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils, two oval-shaped pads of tissue at the back of the throat. Signs and symptoms of tonsillitis include swollen tonsils, sore throat, difficulty or pain with swallowing, and tender lymph nodes on the sides of the neck. Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by infection with a common virus, but bacterial infections can also cause tonsillitis.
Also called ankyloglossia, this condition is present at birth. A short, tight band of tissue tethers the tongue's tip to the floor of the mouth. It can affect how a child eats and speaks, and can interfere with breastfeeding. Symptoms include difficulty sticking out the tongue past the lower front teeth or lifting it to the upper teeth, though many people have no symptoms. In those patients who are symptomatic, a tongue tie can typically be treated with a brief surgical procedure performed in the office or the operating room.
Snoring is commonly caused by the vibrating movement of the uvula and the soft palate that is located in the roof of the mouth. The uvula is the tear drop shaped tissue that hangs down from the middle of the soft palate. When a person sleeps, the uvula and the soft palate relax and vibrating movements occur, causing the snoring sound. Although snoring is not harmful, patients that snore may also suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep Apnea IS a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means that the brain may not be getting enough oxygen. There are two types of sleep apnea; Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the more common of the two and is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep. With Central Sleep Apnea, the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breath due to instability in the respiratory control center. A sleep test, or polysomnography (PSG), is required to make a diagnosis of sleep apnea. Treatment options differ in children versus adults, with children being more likely to benefit from surgery such as removal of the tonsils and adenoids. A breathing machine called CPAP or BiPAP is the primary treatment in adults.