Temecula Facial Oral Surgeon, Dr. Tsvetov, serving Southern California.
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.
Your general dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon for evaluation of lesions that may develop anywhere in the oral cavity, including the tongue, cheeks, roof of the mouth, or the gums. Sometimes the lesions may also develop inside the jaw bones. Dr. Tsvetov will evaluate these lesions clinically and radiographically (with x-rays). Depending on the clinical diagnosis these lesions can either be monitored (observed to see if there are any changes over time), or biopsied and sent to an Oral Pathologist to be evaluated under the microscope. Once the diagnosis is established, Dr. Tsvetov will discuss the findings with you and inform you whether any further treatment may be needed.