The inside of the mouth is lined with skin, called mucosa, which is smooth and 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. Your dentist may observe one of the following alterations and refer you to Dr. Owsley and Dr. McDaniel for evaluation:
- Reddish or whitish patches in the mouth.
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily.
- A lump or thickening on the mucosa lining the inside of the mouth.
- A lesion on the lips, tongue, palate or gum tissue around the teeth.
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.
Most of the time oral lesions turn out to be benign but seeing an Oral Surgeon for evaluation and, if necessary, a biopsy will help determine the proper diagnosis.
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 can assist you with any questions or concerns.