Abnormalities of the lips:
- Herpes Simplex: Viral in nature, it appears as a small cluster of blisters. It spotaneously resolves in 10-14 days.
- Angular Stomatitis (cheilosis): Fissuring at the corners of the mouth. Common with ill fitting dentures. May become secondarily infected from Candida.
- Mucous Retention Cyst (mucocele): A round partially translucent or bluish nodule on the lower lip.
- Carcinoma of the Lip: Any sore or crusting lesion on the lip which does not heal with in 2 - 3 weeks might be considered suspicious.
- Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome: Pigmented spots on the lip as well as buccal mucosa. associated with intestinal polyps.
- Angioneurotic Edema: A diffuse subcutaneous swelling usually allergic in nature.
Abnormalities of the Buccal Mucosa and Hard Palate:
- Aphthous Ulcer (Canker sore): A small round or oval white ulcer surrounded by a halo of reddened mucosa.
- Fordyce Spots (granules): Small yellowish spots in the buccal mucous of most adults. They are sebaceous glands and are normal.
- Torus Palatinus: Midline bony outgrowth on the hard palate.
- Moniliasis (Candidiasis, thrush): White plaques easily removed involving the entire oral mucosa.
Abnormalities of the Tongue:
- Smooth Tongue: Suggestive of vitamin B-12, Niacin, or iron deficiency.
- Hairy Tongue: Usually yellowish to brown or black. Clinically benign.
- Geographic Tongue: Scattered red areas on the dorsum of the tongue which are denuded.
- Fissured (Scrotal) Tongue: May appear in the tongue with increasing age accumulating food debris. has little significance.
- Varicose Veins of the Tongue: Small purplish or blue-black swellings under the tongue of no significance.
- Carcinoma: Uncommon on the dorsum. More common on the lateral boarders of the tongue and at the base of the tongue. Any ulcer or nodule which fails to heal in two to three weeks must be considered suspicious.
Gerald S. Fine, D.D.S.
Practice limited to oral & maxillofacial surgery