Any time you find an unexplained lump or lesion in your mouth that does not go away, it can be a cause for alarm. It’s important to get it checked by a professional at Bay Area OSM as quickly as possible. If it’s suspicious, our talented team of oral surgeons offer biopsies and removals of cysts. If you have an unexplained growth or lesions in your mouth, don’t hesitate to set up a consultation today either over the phone or online.
When should I get my mouth checked?
The surface of the inside of your mouth should be bright pink and smooth. Any area that looks different from the rest of the tissue in your mouth, cheeks, tongue, and gums should be examined by the professionals at Bay Area OSM. Be on the lookout for:
- Ulcers that don’t heal
- Tissue that feels thicker than the rest
- Red and white spots or patches
- Lumps, bumps, or growths
- Sore throat that doesn’t go away
- Trouble swallowing
Our team of surgeons will examine your mouth and determine if a biopsy is the correct next step of action.
Do I really need a biopsy?
Anything abnormal needs to be checked by the team at Bay Area OSM. The idea of a biopsy can be scary, but it is done to rule out any major oral pathology such as oral cancer. When oral cancer is caught early, it is entirely treatable.
A biopsy is a simple and quick procedure. Your surgeon will cut away a small sample of the suspicious tissue and send it to a lab for analysis. If it shows positive for pathology, a treatment plan can be started right away. Even if it ends up being a benign cyst, your surgeon still might recommend it be removed.
If my cyst is benign, why does it need removed?
Though oral cysts are usually medically harmless, they can be uncomfortable. If your cyst is bothering you or it is interfering with dental appliances or your oral health, your Bay Area OSM provider might recommend it be removed.
There are a few ways an oral cyst can be removed, including:
- Traditional surgery (cutting the cyst away)
- Laser therapy
- Cryotherapy (Freezing the cyst)
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PERFORM A BIOPSY?
Taking a biopsy is a relatively short procedure. You will be with the surgeon for about 10 to 15 minutes. During this time the surgeon will take samples of the irregular patch of skin. Each sample will take around 10 to 20 seconds to obtain.
DOES A BIOPSY MEAN CANCER?
Be assured that not every biopsy reveals cancer. There may be many oral pathologies that are revealed by a biopsy. The purpose of the biopsy is to identify and treat the irregular patch of skin as quickly as possible. Even if you do have oral cancer, it can be treatable if identified early.
HOW CAN I CONDUCT A SELF EXAM FOR ORAL CANCER
It is a good idea to conduct a self-exam for oral cancer once a month. The earlier that oral cancer is detected, the better the chance of your recovery. You can conduct the exam using a mirror and bright light. In front of the mirror, check the inside surfaces of your mouth, looking and feeling your front lips and gums and the inside of your cheeks. Also, look at the back of the mouth in the throat area. It is also advised to check the side of the face, jaw, and neck for any lumps or swelling, paying particular attention to the lymph glands. If you detect any irregularities, call the team at Bay Area OSM.
HOW CAN I REDUCE THE RISK OF GETTING ORAL CANCER?
There are some risk factors that are considered the leading causes of oral cancer. By avoiding exposure to these things, it can help you reduce the chance of oral cancer. They include smoking and chewing tobacco, the heavy drinking of alcohol, and exposure to the sun. Be aware though that 25% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are non-smokers who drink alcohol occasionally. Therefore everyone should have regular checks.