The inside of our mouth is lined with a special type of skin called “mucosa,”which is usually smooth and pink in color. Any condition that is a deviation from the normal appearance could be a warning sign for “disease” or a pathological process. Oral cancer is usually the most serious of these oral diseases.
The following can be signs to “look for” at the beginning of a disease process or cancerous growth:
- Red or white areas or patches on the mouth mucosa (called erythroplasia or leukoplakia)
- Chronic sore throat or changes in speech
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Slowly healing or non-healing sores
- Areas that bleed easily
- Lumps, bumps, or thickening of the lining (mucosa) inside the mouth
The above changes can be seen anywhere in and about the mouth. Look on the lips, cheeks, roof of the mouth, gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face, and/or neck. Pain does not necessarily occur with pathology and is not often connected with oral cancer in its early stages. Anyone with facial or mouth pain without an obvious cause may be at risk for oral cancer.
We recommend that you perform a monthly self-examination because your mouth is one of the body’s early warning systems. Do not ignore lumps or sores.
If you have any questions or concerns, if you are suspicious about any “disease” areas, or if you have any of the above symptoms in the mouth, please do not hesitate to contact Oral Facial Surgery Institute so we may be of assistance to you.