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. If you have any pain associated with your mouth, jaw, head or neck, you should also report this to your dentist and/or oral surgeon.
We recommend examining your oral cavity, teeth and gums, neck and face monthly. It is equally important to visit your dentist for oral cancer screening. Your dentist will advise you on frequency of visits. Do not ignore suspicious lumps, sores or discolorations.
Contact your dentist or oral surgeon if you have any concerns or questions regarding the health of your neck, face, mouth or jaw. Contact our office for a consultation at (989) 839-9979.