The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and pink in 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 pathological process or cancerous growth:
- Reddish patches (erythroplakia) 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 and/or 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 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. If a tissue lesion is seen by you or your dentist, Dr. Lee Pham and Dr. Heena Chandra can biopsy the area to help determine the appropriate treatment.
If your dentist notices a suspicious area on your x-rays, you may be referred for a bone biopsy. There are cysts and tumors that may grow in the jaws and require the doctors at Costa Mesa Oral Surgery to biopsy the area to diagnose the pathology. Surgical treatment is determined by the diagnosis of the biopsy. Our surgeons routinely treat oral pathology, as well as reconstruct the jaws to restore normal oral function.
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