The oral cavity is lined with mucosa. The mucosa is tissue which normally is smooth, pinkish in color, and moist. Changes in these characteristics can indicate an abnormality or a pathological process. Many of the changes are benign, but the most serious of these pathological processes is oral cancer. The changes can occur on the lips, tongue, palate, cheeks, gums, and throat.
Abnormal characteristics include:
- White or red patches that do not rub off
- An ulcer or a sore which does not heal within 2 weeks
- A lump or thickening of the tissues
- Painful areas where the mucosa peels off
- Problems swallowing
Abnormalities can also be noted on x-rays. The patient may not even be aware that the is an abnormality on the x-ray because many lesions are asymptomatic.
Autoimmune diseases can also cause changes in the oral cavity. These lesions may cause discomfort.
Dr Battel can evaluate and recommend a course of treatment which may include a biopsy of the area in question. The laser is often quite useful in this treatment.