Soft Tissue Biopsy
Regular visits to the dentist can do more than just protect your teeth and keep your smile bright. Often when you come in for an examination, your dentist is looking for any abnormalities with the facial or oral anatomy to head off any disease before they cause problems for your body. Your exam may include the tongue, the gums, the lips and the soft and hard palate. The exam may also continue to the outside of the mouth and the glands and muscles of the neck, the skin and the temporomandibular joint. Many times, disease and problems manifest in the mouth, and a thorough dental exam can be an easy way to head them off before they get out of control.
Common Diseases Found In the Mouth
One of the most significant diseases that can be found during an oral exam is oral cancer. Early detection can greatly improve the survival rates, and regular exams by a dental professional ensure that treatment can start immediately. Many growths in the mouth are benign, but those that are not should be treated quickly. Other oral diseases to watch for include:
- Lichen Planus – discomfort caused by an inflammatory disease.
- Leukoplakia – typically, these lesions are benign, but are often precancerous and should be removed and a soft tissue biopsy performed. Leukoplakia causes white patches throughout the mouth.
- Pregnancy Tumors – caused by hormonal changes, pregnant woman may notice red swellings on gum tissue, most of which are benign.
- Fibroma – formed in the lining of the mouth, fibroma feels like a lump caused by a thickened mass.
- Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid – oral lesions caused by an autoimmune disorder, this condition is not life-threatening.
Disease like diabetes, heart disease or Crohn’s disease may also manifest in the mouth. At every exam, your mouth is examined for the symptoms of these diseases in order to keep your entire body healthy.
The Necessity for a Biopsy
If a spot, lump or lesion is believed to be problematic, it may be removed and sent to the labs for examination. Our dentists believe that any lump or mass that may be pre-cancerous or cancerous should be removed and examined immediately. The procedure can be done in-office if the mass is small, or in a hospital setting for more serious cases. Most often, only local anesthetic is required, and lesions are closed with stitches that dissolve over time.
Once the tissue is removed, it is sent to a lab for a soft tissue biopsy by a pathologist to determine if there are cancerous cells. At this point, your dental health professional will contact you with the results and guide you toward the correct treatment plan.
Serving Fort Washington, Oreland, Ambler, Dresher & Surrounding
Regular oral exams can do much more than protect your teeth – they may ultimately save your life. Call Harmony Dental Health today at 215-643-0363 to schedule an appointment to ensure that your mouth is healthy and happy. Conveniently located in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania.