Oral and mucosal diseases
There is a wide variety of oral and mucosal diseases, some of which subside spontaneously. If your symptoms are severe or chronic, you should visit a dentist.
Oral mucosa lump
Lumps on the mucosa of the cheek or lip are, in most cases, hypertrophic growths caused by irritation such as biting the cheek. A poorly fitting prosthesis that rubs against the mucosa of the cheek can also cause hypertrophy. In some cases, especially regarding the lower lip, the lump can be a bluish growth caused by damage to the salivary gland duct, also known as a mucocele. Papillomas and warts can also develop in the mouth. In rare cases, tumours can develop on the oral mucosa.
Oral mucosa ulcer
Ulcers on the oral mucosa are often caused by biting the cheek or tongue or abrasion caused by a sharp tooth or prosthesis. Other causes of ulcers include aphthae and oral lichen planus, for example. If the ulcer has not healed in two weeks since the removal of the possible cause of irritation, you should visit a dentist.
A dark grey or brown spot on the gums is typically caused by amalgam entering the tissue upon the removal of a dental amalgam filling or tooth extraction. Hyperpigmentation caused by smoking is typically most visible in the front gums of the mouth. In rare cases, other benign pigment changes, such as melanin spots or moles, can develop on the oral mucosa. Melanomas on the oral mucosa are very rare, and they typically develop on the gum or the palate.
White areas on the oral mucosa may be caused by hyperkeratosis of the mucosa due to the teeth rubbing against the mucosa, oral lichen planus, yeast infection, black hairy tongue or leukoplakia. The use of snus may cause white lesions in the area where the snus is placed. If a white lesion does not subside within two weeks from the removal of the possible cause of irritation, you should visit a dentist.
The most common reason for redness in the mucosa is a yeast infection. Possible symptoms include soreness and a burning sensation on the mucosa. The risk factors for yeast infections are, for example, dry mouth, smoking, prostheses, oral lichen planus and the use of antibiotics. Other possible reasons for redness on the oral mucosa include geographic tongue, oral lichen planus, oral varices or, in rare cases, an allergic reaction. As a general rule, all red lesions in the mouth should be examined and diagnosed by a dentist.
Burning mouth syndrome
A burning sensation on the tongue, lips and/or the front of the palate typically experienced by middle-aged and older women. The causes of this symptom are not known, but it may be related to disturbances in the functionality of sensory nerve fibres. The syndrome is sometimes associated with a dry mouth or changes in the sense of taste or mouthfeel. In most cases, the oral mucosa looks healthy and the syndrome is not dangerous in itself. Chewing gum or sucking on a lozenge may alleviate the symptoms. Pain caused by this syndrome can be alleviated with medication, if necessary.
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