Oral Cancer Screenings
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 patch (erythroplakia) or whitish patch (leukoplakia) in the mouth.
- A sore or ulcer that bleeds easily and fails to heal.
- A lump or bump on the gums tissue, usually coming from between the teeth.
- 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, gums, tongue, face, and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with oral pathology. In general any abnormal lesions present for more than two weeks should be checked by a dental professional. Dr. Filippi performs an oral cancer screening at all examination appointments.