The lining of the mouth, or oral mucosa, is normally a smooth, healthy pink color. But when you experience changes in the appearance of the soft tissue, your mouth may require medical attention.
While many oral lesions are not serious, the following alterations or lesions can be signs of a more aggressive pathologic process or cancerous growth:
- Reddish or whitish patches in the mouth
- A sore that continuously bleeds and does not heal properly
- A lump or thickening of the skin lining the inside of the mouth
- A chronic sore throat, hoarseness, or earache
- Regular difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Oral or facial pain without an obvious cause
After Dr. Kunkel assesses your health history and performs a thorough oral exam, he may recommend a biopsy. A biopsy is a simple procedure that typically only requires the use of local anesthesia, which just numbs the specific biopsy site. The sample is sent to a pathologist who examines the tissue under a microscope to confirm a diagnosis. This will help your surgeon determine if any additional treatment is necessary.
In addition to skin lesions and mucosa lining the oral cavity, there is also hard tissue pathology, which are pathological lesions that may affect the jaw bones or teeth. Tumors or cysts are growths that fall in the hard tissue pathology category. Tumors are solid in nature, while cysts are fluid-filled sacks that expand like a balloon within the jaw bone. While tumors and cysts in the jaw bones are most commonly benign, they can be extremely destructive to the region they are located. They have a tendency to grow and expand within the jaw, causing significant problems if left untreated.
Please schedule a consultation with Dr. Kunkel at Pikes Peak Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center if you suspect you may be experiencing a pathological process. He will thoroughly examine your mouth to detect the presence of infection or disease and develop a personalized treatment plan to restore your oral health.