The skin of your mouth is subject to much abuse during the course of your life.
- It is subject to extremes of cold and heat,
- Some-times it is burnt.
- It is bitten and scraped
- It is chewed by your teeth.
- At times it is cut.
- Frequently it is soaked in acids and alcohol or other chemicals.
- Many people will subject the skin of their mouth to smoke and other noxious cancer causing gases.
- Plus the skin of your mouth can be affected by many disease processes.
It is no wonder then that the skin of your mouth will change as a result of all these repeated traumas. You may develop red, white or other colour patches in your mouth or you may develop swellings of various sizes and causes.
It can be very difficult to differentiate these lesions from each other and so to give an accurate diagnosis a biopsy is frequently taken to aid diagnosis.
This involves removing the whole lesion or just a part of the lesion under local anaesthetic usually. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis and a result will be delivered 2 to 3 weeks later.
A biopsy is usually a minor procedure which will cause some discomfort for several days before healing. Often a dis-solvable suture is used. Good oral hygiene is necessary for several days and painkillers will often be needed for a day or two.
Dr Murnane is based in Nenagh, 20 minutes from Limerick.