The inside of the mouth is generally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. A change in this appearance may be a sign of a pathological process. The worst case of these is oral cancer. The following may be signs at the start of a malignant 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.
Any of the previous alterations could be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face and/or neck. Discomfort does not always occur with pathology, and is not often associated with oral cancer. Although, any patient with facial and/or oral discomfort without an obvious reason could also be at risk for oral cancer.
We routinely recommend performing self-examination weekly, remembering your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Please do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Contact us so we may help if you have any questions or concerns.