The inside of the mouth is lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is mostly smooth and coral pink in colour. 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, palate, tongue and gum tissue around the teeth. 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 and should be seen for a consultation and investigations which may often involve a biopsy of any suspicious area usually carried out as a local anaesthetic procedure in the office.
We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly and remember your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores.
Please contact us so we can assist you with any questions or concerns.