The Oral Health Foundation recommends that you get oral lesions checked out quickly, as early intervention is crucial in the event that the diagnosis is oral cancer. Early intervention increases the chances of successful treatment dramatically, although not all lesions inside your mouth are cancerous.
The term oral lesions covers a variety of conditions. 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 other cancers can at times bring on oral lesions.
The key is to seek specialist care, by referral from your doctor, or dentist, or directly. Maxillofacial consultants focus on the hard and soft tissues of the face, mouth, or jaw and can offer an accurate diagnosis.
Assessment & Biopsies
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 current ongoing treatments may be valuable.
When 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 will still be 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 may sometimes be 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.
Following your clinical assessment and results from a lab where a biopsy has been carried out, a personal treatment plan can be put in place. Appointments with your consultant will be offered to suit.
With so many possible causes for oral lesions, details of treatment will vary for individual cases. The objective is always to bring a cure, whether for a critical condition, such as oral cancer, or simply to relieve unwanted symptoms.
Our team appreciate how debilitating all forms of oral lesions can be and how they impinge on life. By all means get in touch if we can offer advice, or to arrange for a specialist consultation.