Finding an abnormal growth, a strange discoloration, or a sore that doesn’t seem to heal in your mouth can be disconcerting. You want to get it checked out by the team at California Oral Surgery as soon as possible. After examination, if it looks suspicious, your surgeon might take a biopsy to rule out any oral pathology. If you’ve noticed sometime in your mouth
that doesn’t seem right, don’t wait. Call us or book your appointment online today. We are located in the town of Stockton, CA.
WHAT IS A BIOPSY USED TO DETECT?
Biopsies are used to detect oral pathologies affecting the mouth, cheeks, gums, tongue, and throat. Cancer is an obvious disease that biopsies are used to detect, but there are other pathologies as well. Some of these include:
- Noncancerous growths and lesions
- Precancerous cells
- Systemic amyloidosis, or abnormal proteins
- Blood clotting disorders
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A BIOPSY?
A biopsy is a simple outpatient procedure performed at the California Oral Surgery office. A sample of tissue is taken and viewed under a microscope to look for abnormal cells. The tissue sample can be sourced from a variety of methods including:
- Cutting away a small sample
- Using a small needle
- Using a brush to scrape away a sample
No matter the method, most biopsies are noninvasive and require no downtime or recovery period.
Often your biopsy sample is sent to a pathology laboratory. There, trained professionals can perform additional tests in order to get you a quick and correct diagnosis.
WHY MIGHT I NEED A BIOPSY?
If you notice anything out of the ordinary in your mouth, on your tongue, cheeks, throat, or gums it’s worth being checked out by the team at California Oral Surgery. A surgeon will examine your areas of concern and let you know if a biopsy is necessary. Be on the lookout for:
- Red or white patches
- Hairy looking patches on the sides of the tongue
- Sore lasting longer than two weeks
- Lumps or bumps
- Unusual swelling
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PERFORM A BIOPSY?
The actual sample taking isn’t a very long process, with each one taking 10 to 20 seconds. Your appointment with the surgeon should only last 10 to 15 minutes. However, you should set aside some extra time around your appointment to register with the practice and allow for any unexpected waiting time.
DOES HAVING A BIOPSY MEAN I HAVE CANCER?
As mentioned in the above article biopsies are performed to identify abnormalities in the mouth. These abnormalities could be due to many different pathologies and not necessarily oral cancer. The purpose of the biopsy is to identify what is wrong and start treatment early so the problem does not get worse.
HOW CAN I CONDUCT A SELF EXAM FOR ORAL CANCER
Even though your dentist will be on the lookout for any signs of cancer during your regular checks, it is good to do a self-exam at least once a month. They are easy to perform and you only need a mirror and a bright light. You need to examine the surfaces of the inside of your mouth by sight and if possible by touch, looking for any discoloration or lumps. Check the gums, the lip, and the inside of the cheek. Also, look at the back of your throat. It’s also good to check the side of your neck and lymph glands to see if there are any signs of swelling or lumps. If you notice anything of concern then call the team at California Oral Surgery and Implantology.
HOW CAN I REDUCE THE RISK OF GETTING ORAL CANCER?
There are many risk factors that can increase the chances of getting oral cancer. Avoiding them can make a big difference in reducing your chances of getting the disease. Smokers and those who drink alcohol heavily are in the high-risk category as well as those who are exposed to a lot of sun. However, it is also to be noted that some may develop cancer despite avoiding these risks.