$99 Cleaning, Exam + X-Rays!
New Patients Only. Limited Time Offer. Call or Schedule Online ›
Dr. Sharma and Renee discuss the different types of Oral Lesions found in the mouth, and what their symptoms are.
Today we’ll be discussing different lesions found in the mouth. Some are harmless and common and some are rare and worrisome.
The most common lesion is called the aphthous ulcer, or more commonly known as the canker sore. Everybody has probably had a canker sore at one point in their life. It starts as just a small painful bump, and it usually takes about 2 weeks to go away. If you notice anything in your mouth that you think might be a canker sore, do make sure that it goes away in 2 weeks. If not, give your dentist a call so we can evaluate it, we want to make sure it’s not worrisome.
Another common lesion that’s found in the mouth is known as linea alba. When you move your cheek aside, you’ll suddenly see these white lines. It’s most commonly found on the cheek area, and sometimes along the sides of the tongue. It’s more commonly seen in people who grind their teeth, or there is pressure and irritation, or sucking your cheeks in. In these cases we will tell a patient to come in and see a dentist so that we make sure that’s what it is and we will make them a night guard so it prevents them from grinding and causing that lesion.
Another common lesion in the mouth is the herpes simplex virus, or more commonly referred to as a cold sore. These can last for years, or be life long and are highly contagious in their active phase. If you have a cold sore and it’s active, it’s red and/or has some fluid; you’ll want to make sure that you don’t have any mouth to mouth contact with anyone, share utensils, cups. Mothers can pass this virus to their children with kisses, so be very careful not to come in contact with anyone when you have that. If you do suffer from cold sores and you notice one coming on, if you give our office a call we have a special laser that will greatly reduce the discomfort and the time that the cold sore will last, and sometimes will catch it before it even starts. We’ve had people say that once their cold sores were lasered they never got them again.
Another common lesion is the HPV virus. It’s very contagious, it can spread from mouth to mouth or mother to children. It can show up anywhere in the mouth, but the most common areas are the tongue, soft palate, roof of the mouth, and lips. HPV comes in different shapes and sizes and sometimes it can resemble a common wart. Most types of HPV will clear up within a year but make sure you follow up with your dentist and doctor as well, and get it checked because it can turn into an oral esophageal cancer. It’s very important that if you see any of these lesions, to always get them checked.
Oral cancer is probably the scariest topic on this list, if caught early the survival rates are greatly improved. Oral cancer can take many forms, it can look like a flat white patch, a red ulcer, a bump in your mouth. It can occur anywhere in your mouth but usually the most common spots are the back sides of the tongue, that’s why when you go to the dentist you always notice us pulling your tongue out.
Tobacco, Alcohol, and HPV are the most common risk factors for oral cancer. So this is why it’s especially important to see your dentist twice a year. We have a special light in our office called a Velscope that can detect a lesion in your mouth before it’s visible to the naked eye.
If you notice any suspicious sores or bumps in your mouth, just keep an eye on it and make sure that it goes away in 2 weeks. If it doesn’t go away, make sure you come to us and get it checked, so that we stay on the safe side.