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. Although rare, the most serious of these is oral cancer. Most changes in the mouth are non-cancerous, but still require evaluation and treatment.
The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathological 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 and/or 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. Pain does not always occur with pathology, and curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.
Dr. McKenzie has advanced training in management of benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors of the mouth and jaws. We are happy to guide you through the entire process from biopsy, to surgery, to reconstruction.