Oral Pathology

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
     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 system.  Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores.  Please contact us so we may help.

We believe that your oral care provider has the ability to detect cancer and pre-cancerous lesions in their earliest form.  Our office utilizes mulitple techniques for the identification and biopsy of suspicious lesions including a special light called “Oral ID”.  Your initial evaluation and preventative care visits will always include an oral cancer screening.

With advancements in technology, we now have the ability to “bring light” to oral abnormalities such as, oral cancer and precancer; fluorescence technology can assist in visualizing abnormal lesions that may not be visible with white light. Because OralID is not diagnostic, any suspicious areas will need to be followed up with a period of observation or a biopsy.


 Oral Cancer Information Center