If a sore or abnormal tissue doesn’t resolve within TWO WEEKS, it warrants a closer look. A screening device which through fluorescence technology shows abnormal blood flow to an area suggesting a problem, may help you make your decision faster. However, a screening device is an adjunct and doesn’t give you definitive answers. The gold standard is a biopsy. The mouth heals quickly. Peace of mind is invaluable. Early detection is key. Oral cancer is very survivable if detected early.
The biopsy will be more proficiently evaluated by an oral pathologist vs a general pathologist.
Dysplasia is a pre-cancerous condition. Mild dysplasia should be monitored with scrutiny. ‘Moderate’ and ‘Severe’ dysplasia should be surgically removed and monitored regularly for tissue changes.
Lichen Planus and Erosive Lichen Planus is an inflammatory condition of unknown cause and most are benign without risk of transformation to pre-cancer or cancer. However, the erosive form tends to have an increased risk of developing into dysplasia.
Leukoplakia needs to be followed and can range from a benign hyperkeratotic to a dysplasia. 20% of Leukoplakias in never-smokers are pre-cancer.
Hyperkeratosis appears white and is usually the result of a chronic trauma like chronic cheek biting or tobacco chewing. Stopping these habits will usually cause a reversal of the hyperkeratosis, but it is gradual. A burn from hot coffee or pizza will usually result in a painful ulcer but should resolve in 2 weeks.
Bottom line: ANYTHING THAT HAS NOT IMPROVED AFTER 2 WEEKS WARRANTS A CLOSER LOOK!