The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer. The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathologic process or growth:
- Reddish patches or whitish patches 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 in chewing or swallowing
These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. 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.
We would recommend performing an oral self-examination monthly and remember that your mouth is one of your body's most important warning systems. If you discover anything unusual, please call us for a consultation. If indicated, we will schedule a biopsy. This painless procedure is done in office where a sample of tissue is removed and sent to a pathologist. The pathologist will examine it under a microscope and obtain a diagnosis. This diagnosis will lead to a treatment plan that may range from simple observation to further treatment. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us so that we may help.