Many types of abnormal growths can occur in the mouth and/or face. In most situations, these lesions are benign (not cancerous). Occasionally, a lesion may be more serious or malignant. This can only be definitively determined by performing a biopsy. A biopsy is a surgical procedure where your oral surgeon removes a part or all of a lesion and sends it to a pathologist for diagnosis.

Suspicious areas that may warrant further examination include:

Dentists are trained to notice even subtle changes in the appearance of your gums and the lining of your mouth. In addition, your dentist may take X-rays which can provide more information to help evaluate a lesion. If you notice any of the above symptoms, you should contact your dentist or physician, who will determine if a consultation with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is necessary. Early detection and treatment of lesions greatly improves a patient's prognosis.


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