Tumors and Cysts of the Mouth and Jaw McLean
The majority of tumors within the mouth and jaw are benign. Still, malignant tumor growth does occur and even benign tumors are painful to cope with. Regardless of whether your tumor is benign or malignant, it’s important to seek removal to better your oral health, lifestyle, and address any oral cancer concerns.
Types of Jaw and Mouth Growths
There are three kinds of growths that can occur within your mouth and jaw:
- Growths and cysts – Swellings or lumps that result from tissue infection or irritation
- Benign Tumors – Non-cancerous tumors are caused by an increase in the number of cells in one area, resulting in an enlargement
- Cancerous Tumors – Malignant tumors are comprised of irregularly shaped cells that multiply uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body
Where Tumors Develop
Numerous types of oral cancer can develop, causing tumor growth in a number of areas including:
- From the teeth and jaws
- Lip tissue
- Along the gums
- Floor and roof of the mouth
- Salivary glands
- The area behind your wisdom teeth
Conducting monthly, self-evaluations of your oral health to determine if any irregularities are present that need to be evaluated by a specialist is essential for early diagnosis.
Symptoms of a tumor within the mouth and jaw are:
- Abnormal taste in your mouth
- Mouth sores that do not heal within 2 weeks
- Shift in your bite
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Difficulty swallowing
If you believe that you have spotted a lump or growth, you should expect it to be:
- Small in size
- Painless (although it’s possible for a burning sensation to develop in advanced stages)
- A roughly edged crack in the tissue
A premalignant tumor is when cell changes occur, resulting in a currently benign tumor, which can become cancerous if left untreated. There are two predominant kinds of premalignant lesions that develop:
- Leukoplakia – A white area that cannot be scraped off without bleeding. These are rarely cancerous at the time of diagnosis and few develop into cancer within ten years
- Erythroplakia – A raised, reddish, pinkish area. Unlike leukoplakia, erythroplakia will bleed if scraped and is more prone to becoming cancerous
Dentists often discover these premalignant tumors during routine, oral cancer screenings and refer the patients to a specialist like Dr. Hamrah.
If you live in the Washington, D.C. or Northern Virginia areas and require an oral cancer evaluation to determine if you have tumor growth in your mouth or jaw, please contact Dr. Hamrah today to schedule your personal consultation.