Precancerous oral lesions are abnormal cell growths in or around the mouth. They may become cancer. Cancerous oral lesions are life-threatening cell changes in the mouth. These lesions need to be detected early to give you a better chance for a cure.
The signs and symptoms of precancerous and cancerous oral lesions may include:
A sore in the mouth that doesn`t heal within 3 weeks
White or red lesions or ulcers on the tongue, gums, or lining of the mouth that don`t go away
Tenderness or pain in the mouth that persists
See your dental professional about any sore or pain in the mouth that doesn`t go away in 3 weeks. He or she will ask questions about your medical and dental history. Your entire mouth, including your lips and teeth, will be checked. A biopsy or other tests may also be done.
A biopsy is the best way to find out if a lesion is precancerous or cancerous. During a biopsy, the area around the lesion will be numbed. A part of the lesion will then be removed and sent to a lab to be examined under a microscope.
Other tests may be helpful in making the diagnosis. They include:
Staining. The area in your mouth around the lesion may be stained with a special dye. The dye binds to cancerous cells, staining only these cells. After a few hours, the color from the dye will disappear.
Cytology. Your dental professional may scrape the surface of the lesion to obtain cells. The cells are then sent to a lab, where they are examined for cancer.
Your treatment will depend on the nature of the oral lesion. Your dental or medical professional can tell you about types of treatment, which may include:
Combination therapy (Both surgery and radiation therapy may be used to treat advanced cases of oral cancer.)
The best way to catch any problems early is to have regular oral checkups. To help reduce your risk for oral cancer, follow the tips below.
Get oral checkups. Visit your dentist at least 2 times a year.
Don`t use tobacco. Tobacco use increases the risk for oral cancer. It`s never too late to stop using tobacco.
Limit alcohol. If you drink a lot of alcohol, you may be at a higher risk for oral cancer.
Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may lower your risk for oral cancer.
Use good oral hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth each day. If you wear dentures, keep them clean.
Date Last Reviewed: 2004-09-13T00:00:00-06:00
Date Last Modified: 2003-02-06T00:00:00-07:00
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I wished I had tried this dentist office sooner. Everyone there are very professional and knowledgeable. I was looking for a new dentist and I found Dr. Ana and I could not be more satisfied. My confidence in her was well placed. I would hope that every dentist was this good. I had a problem with my teeth for awhile. Two others dentists did not mention it to me but she was able to see what my problem was right away. It is now fixed and I couldn’t be more pleased with the work she did.
Dr. Ana is a fabulous dentist. Recently I had extensive dental work on my front teeth. Prior to the start of work she took an impression and made a temporary piece that looked natural. I am extremely happy with the final result. She is meticulous and caring, a great combination. The office staff is professional and courteous. I have been a patient at Pennington Family Dentistry for over 30 years.
Great staff! Been here a couple times already and they are efficient and they take the time to get to know you. Spent years in a large practice before this but never got that personal experience you want with a doctor or dentist. Would highly recommend this practice.
Professional friendly staff. Always feel comfortable and welcomed here. Dr. Bernie treat patients with attentive care and respect. Michele is so helpful and kind. Charissa is the best hygienist and her injections are the least painful ever.
I have been a patient of Pennington Family Dentistry for over 40 years and cannot say enough complimentary things about the professionalism of the entire staff. From the front desk to the hygienist to the doctors, each delivers superb and comfortable care. I highly recommend PFD to all those who seek dental care.
My wife and I have each visited PFD several times now, and we both have been consistently impressed with each of the staff, who have all been very friendly, knowledgeable and thorough.