Dublin Specialist Dentistry

There are countless reasons for unusual appearing lesions in the mouth ranging from simple benign lesions to more serious malignant lesions.

Benign lesions generally are slow growing, appear smooth, not ulcerated or infected in appearance and can be painless. Generally, these are small gum growths, oral warts, oral polyps or cysts.

Some cysts may be inside the jaw bones, they are usually benign. There are many different types with slightly different treatments and outcome. The clinical appearance and biopsy results will determine this.

Malignant oral lesions are typically seen in older smokers and drinkers but this demographic is changing and oral cancer is unfortunately seen in other groups now. These lesions usually grow quickly, are ulcerated or irregular in appearance, there can be altered sensation in that area and there may be pain but this is a late sign. More established disease may cause a neck swelling, weight loss and other systemic symptoms.

Sometimes it is quite clear that a lesion is either benign or malignant in appearance but there is a grey area in the middle and it is essential that all unusual looking oral lesions are biopsied and sent to the oral histopathology lab for formal analysis.

The oral histopathology lab is based at St James’s Hospital Dublin.

Depending on its appearance, all or part of the lesion will be sent to the lab for analysis.

What is the recovery period?

This depends on the type of biopsy, the size of the biopsy and your own particular healing! A full assessment of this can be made at your consultation. All patients receive a prescription and comprehensive written post-operative instructions following a surgical procedure. Sick certificates can be issued on request.