Having any oral lesions promptly checked by a specialist matters, as early intervention is crucial if the diagnosis is oral cancer.
Early discovery is a major factor in successful treatment and in reducing treatment, although not all lesions inside your mouth are cancerous. The term oral lesions covers a variety of conditions which nature sends our way.
They can arise from diseases such as lichen planus, or lupus, other bacterial, or fungal infections, sensitivity to irritants, nutritional deficiency, trauma, or stress.
Lesions can also occur as symptoms of anemia, or intestinal conditions such as Crohn’s disease, or IBS. Radiotherapy, or chemotherapy given to treat cancers can at times bring on oral lesions.
The key is to seek dedicated care, by referral from your doctor, or directly. Maxillofacial consultants focus on the hard and soft tissues of the face, mouth, or jaw and can offer an accurate assessment.
Our consultant will carry out a thorough inspection of your oral cavity, as part of a complete head and neck examination. Discussion of your medical history and any ongoing treatment may be valuable.
A fair range of oral lesions will be recognised by an experienced consultant, who can then create a suitable treatment plan to suit your needs,
Where additional information is required to confirm diagnosis, a biopsy provides tissue for microscopic analysis. This requires removal of part of an oral lesion, or complete removal, although lab analysis is still required.
A biopsy is a brief procedure (15-30 minutes) under local anaesthetic and is the gold standard of diagnosis, allowing for the most effective treatment.
A few (normally soluble) stitches are sometimes needed, however discomfort or swelling are usually minimal and your day should not be overly affected. Driving, or going back to work will be fine in most cases.
Treating Oral Lesions
If a biopsy was required, this can prove that lesions are benign, premalignant, or cancerous. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of oral cancer.
Treatment can vary, or be extended but in most cases, surgery to remove the lesions will be a solution. You should still remember that oral lesions and ulcers have many causes beyond cancer.
They can arise from biting during chewing, ill-fitting dentures, certain food and drink. The conditions and infections mentioned above, along with many more can bring lesions to a sensitive area.
The breadth of conditions has a treatment range to match. Topical corticosteroids can help, anti-inflammatory, or antimicrobial agents, either in dissolvable tablet form, an inhaler, or mouthwash.
For more severe cases, systemic medication may be required. For those and lower level disease, changes to oral hygiene routines can help to prevent secondary infection.
Treatment is tailored to the nature and severity of the problem, pain levels, the frequency of lesions, how responsive they have been to earlier treatment.
Care at our London clinic is individual, for a problem we know can bring life affecting issues. By all means get in touch with our friendly team.