Ask the Doctor

Dr. Gramins talks about Oral Cancer

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 following changes should be examined by your surgeon.

  • Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches in the mouth.
  • A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily.
  • A lump or thickening on the skin lining inside of the mouth.
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness.
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing.

These changes can occur anywhere in the mouth, face, head, 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.

Have your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon examine any of these changes if they occur, as early detection usually results in the best treatment outcome.