The soft tissue of the mouth is normally lined with mucosa, which is special type of skin that should appear smooth in texture and pink in color. Any alteration of the color or texture of the mucosa may signal the beginning of a pathologic process. These changes may occur on the face, neck, and areas of the mouth (e.g., gums, tongue, lips, etc.). The most serious of these pathologic changes (which may or may not be painful) is oral cancer, but there are also many other common pathologic problems.
If you or your dentist notices irregularities such as white spots, red spots, lumps, thickened tissue in the mouth or neck, sores that do not heal, persistent sore throat or trouble swallowing or chewing, do not ignore them as these are signs of possible cancer. The suspicious area may need to be biopsied. Contact us right away as advised by your dentist to obtain a thorough evaluation.
If Dr. Murphy feels that a biopsy is warranted, he will review his clinical impressions with you and either remove the area of a portion of the area to be reviewed by a pathologist under a microscope. Dr. Murphy will review the results of the pathologist's findings with you, your dentist, and your primary care physician and recommend additional treatment, if necessary.