Oral Pathology/Biopsies

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.

If you present with any of the above, our doctors may recommend a biopsy of the area or growth. A biopsy is a procedure where the doctor removes a portion or the entire lesion. The tissue is then sent to an oral or medical pathologist depending on your insurance. In some instances, this procedure is covered under your medical insurance. Following the biopsy procedure and pathologic evaluation, the doctor will review the results with you at your post-operative appointment.

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