The inside of the mouth is lined with skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign of a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer.

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.

Our oral surgeon at Orange County Oral Surgeons & Dental Implant Center, Dr. Jason Straw, recommends performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly. Remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most effective warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us at 949-727-7000 if we can assist you with any questions or concerns about oral pathology in Irvine, California.