Pathology

The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. The most serious of these is oral cancer.

If you feel that you or someone you know has any of the symptoms that have been discussed, or if you have any questions and/or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What are some potential signs of pathology in the mouth?

The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:

  • Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth
  • A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
  • A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Pain does not always occur with pathology and, curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer. If appropriate, the treating surgeon will perform a biopsy on any suspicious lesions.

Can I perform a self-examination?

We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly. Remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores; please contact us so we may help you.

Oral & Facial Surgery Group is a part of Mortenson Dental Partners.

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