Oral Pathology & Cancer Screens

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.  The most serious of these is oral cancer.  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 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 and 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.

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