Oral Pathology & Cancer
Head, Neck & Oral Cancer
Oral Cancer Self Exam
Oral Cancer, Learn the Facts
Oral pathology services relate to infection and disease of the mouth – meaning the teeth, jaws, skin tissue (mucosa), tongue and salivary glands. There is a broad range of disease that affects oral health; the most serious types include lesions and cancer. The diagnosis and treatment of oral disease is vital to overall good health.
The interior of a healthy mouth reflects a smooth pink lining of the mucosa or skin tissue. Early signs of oral disease may include open sores that have failed to heal, lesions that bleed repeatedly, red or white patches affecting the mucosa, and lumps or knots in the interior of the mouth. Other symptoms may include chronic sore throat or hoarseness with speech and difficulty with chewing or swallowing.
Visible changes in the appearance of your lips, cheeks, roof-of-mouth (palate), gum tissue, tongue, face and/or neck may be warning signs of the development of oral disease.
Using a bright light and a mirror:
- Remove any dentures
- Look and feel inside the lips and the front
- Tilt head back to inspect and feel the roof
of your mouth
- Pull the cheek out to see its inside surface
as well as the back of the gums
- Pull out your tongue and look at all of its
- Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes
(glands) in both sides of the neck including
under the lower jaw
Look for the following
Don’t wait! See your OMS if you have any of these signs.
- White patches of the oral tissues
- Red patches (erythroplakia)
- Red and white patches
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- An abnormal lump or thickening of the
tissues of the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
- A mass or lump in the neck
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