The mouth is 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 or white patches 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 occur on the lips, cheeks, palate, gingiva (gum tissue), tongue, face and neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology and is not often associated with oral cancer. However, one cannot rule out pathology if there is facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason.
We recommend you keep up with your routine visits at your dentist’s office and perform an oral cancer self-examination monthly. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores as your mouth may be the first area where a serious medical problem becomes apparent. You can always schedule an appointment with us if you have a suspicious area you wish to have examined.