Mouth Checks Ups By Your Dentists Are Important
Small lumps and bumps in the mouth are noticed more frequently than one might imagine. These lesions can involve any surface in the mouth. More common areas include the lips, cheeks, tongue and beneath dentures. Nearly all of these lesions are benign, but can still cause pain, secondary infection or interfere with normal function.
Poorly fitting dentures frequently cause chronic irritation. Loose dentures can cause areas of tissue irritation, but have not been shown to increase cancer risk. Irritated tissue, however, significantly compromises the dentures and needs to be removed. The dentures will also need to be relined or potentially remade in order to help the dentures fit properly.
Another common area for small lumps and bumps is the lower lip. When there is trauma to the lower lip, some of the salivary glands can be damaged. These glands are the small bumps which can normally be felt on the inside of the lips and make some of the saliva in the mouth. Once damaged, an enlarged bump can be present. These lesions (mucoceles) can increase in size and cause pain or become infected. Treatment involves removal of the lesion and affected salivary glands.
Also due to trauma, fibromas of the cheek and tongue are frequently evaluated and treated. Most of the time, biting the cheek or tongue starts this process. These lesions are slowly enlarging and firm, with a history of constantly being irritated. Once these lesions are removed, recurrence is not common, unless additional biting trauma continues.
Evaluation with your family dentist is the best way to determine whether an abnormal area in the mouth warrants additional treatment. Since oral cancer usually does not cause pain in early stages, evaluation of any lesion which lasts more than two weeks is recommended. Even though most lesions are benign, evaluation and treatment, if recommended, will minimize additional problems.