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 pathological 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 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.
Treatment of Oral Pathology
Proper treatment of oral pathology requires the proper diagnosis of the problem. A biopsy is usually required. This is a sample of the tissue which is sent to a pathologist to examine under the microscope. For some lesions a small part may be taken and for others the whole lesion may be removed. After the diagnosis is established, the appropriate treatment is planned.
Drs. Herzog, Halkias and Papadimitriou treat a variety of oral pathology including pathology of the soft tissues and bony structures of the mouth and jaws.
We recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly. Remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important early warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us so we can evaluate you and discuss your questions or concerns.