Oral Pathology / Cysts

The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer. The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathologic 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. 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 for oral cancer.

We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly and remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us so we may help.

In the panorex shown below, a patient presented for a checkup with their regular dentist and upon taking a smaller film, the dentist noticed a darkened area behind tooth #38.  Upon referring the patient to our office for further investigation of a possible cyst, we were able to capture the extent of the cyst with a high definition xray.  Despite the amount of jaw bone this cyst had already consumed, the patient reported no signs of discomfort and as a result, was not aware of its presence at any time.

The wisdom tooth and the associated cyst were removed successfully and the cyst was sent for biopsy with a final diagnosis of a ‘dentigerous cyst’ indicating no further pathology associated.