In our previous blog, Why Oral Cancer Screenings Are Essential, we discussed the importance of regular screenings for the prevention of oral cancer. However, oral cancer isn’t the only condition that affects the oral cavity. In this blog, we will delve deeper into seven common types of oral conditions that can affect your health and well-being.

Common Oral Conditions and Their Symptoms

Oral Cancer: Oral cancer can occur in the mouth or throat. Symptoms of oral cancer include a sore that does not heal, bleeding in the mouth, persistent pain in the mouth, and a lump in the neck. Treatment options for oral cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Pyogenic Granuloma: Pyogenic granuloma is a benign growth in the mouth. It is most often found on the gums and lips. Pyogenic granulomas are often caused by trauma or irritation to the tissue. Symptoms include a red, smooth mass with an irregular shape and bleeding when irritated. Treatment options include surgical removal and laser therapy.

Fibroma: Fibroma, or reactive hyperplasia, are benign growths that occur in the mouth. Fibromas are hard and smooth scar tissue that forms from an injury or irritation to the mucous membrane. Symptoms include a hard lump in the mouth that does not change size. Treatment options include surgical removal or laser therapy.

Leukoplakia: Leukoplakia is a white patch or lesion inside the mouth. They can be caused by alcohol use, heavy smoking, chewing tobacco or chronic irritation. There are two types of leukoplakia: homogenous and non-homogenous. Homogenous leukoplakia is smooth and white with a smooth, wrinkled, or ridged surface that is consistent throughout. A non-homogenous leukoplakia are white or white and red, are irregularly shaped and can be ulcerated or nodular. Non-homogenous leukoplakia is more likely to become cancerous. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, lifestyle changes and surgical removal.

Pemphigus Vulgaris: Pemphigus vulgaris is a rare autoimmune disease affecting the skin and mucous membranes. Symptoms of pemphigus vulgaris include blisters and ulcers on the skin and mucous membranes. Treatment options include corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and better oral health care.

Mucocele:  Mucocele is a blocked minor salivary gland that typically occurs on the lower lip.  This typically occurs secondary to trauma.  These lesions are soft, fluctuant, and typically not too tender.  Many can change in size.  Treatment is surgical removal. 

Oral lichen planus: Oral lichen planus is a chronic inflammatory, autoimmune disease that affects the soft tissues of the mouth. Symptoms of oral lichen planus include white, lacy, threadlike lesions inside the mouth or bright red gums. Lichen planus can be present on the inner cheeks, tongue, and gums. Women are more likely to develop lichen planus than men. Certain medications and systemic diseases can cause lichen planus. Symptoms usually go away on their own; however, more severe cases may require medication.

Oral Candidiasis: Oral candidiasis (thrush) is a fungal infection that affects the mouth and throat. Symptoms of oral candidiasis include white patches on the tongue or inside of the cheek, redness or soreness in the mouth, cracked corners of the mouth, and difficulty swallowing. Oral candidiasis is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans. Thrush is more likely to appear in people with diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cancer, people who smoke, patients that have been on a round of antibiotics, and people with ill-fitting dentures. Treatment options for oral candidiasis include antifungal medication taken by mouth.

Oral HPV: Oral HPV is an infection caused by the human papillomavirus. HPV can infect the mouth and throat and cause cancer of the oropharynx (back of the throat, base of the tongue, and tonsils). While not all strains of HPV cause cancer, studies have found that certain types of HPV can turn into cancer. Symptoms may include a long-lasting sore throat, hoarseness, earaches, swollen lymph nodes, pain when swallowing, and sores or warts on the lips and in the mouth and throat. The treatment for HPV is typically biopsy or removal of the lesion.

Oral Pathology in Mesa AZ

There are many different types of oral pathology with varying symptoms and treatment options depending on the type. If you have signs and symptoms of any of the above conditions, see your dentist or doctor as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis so you can begin treatment right away!
At AZ Max, as Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, we take your oral health seriously. We are here for you if you’re searching for an oral surgeon Mesa, AZ, or an oral surgeon near me. To schedule an appointment with one of our surgeons, call (480) 830-5866 or complete the online booking form.