The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and pink in color. Any alteration in the appearance of the inside of your mouth could be a warning sign of a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer.
Symptoms of a Pathologic Process (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.
Where do you see these changes?
These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.
How Often Should I be Screened?
We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly and remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores.
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