Oral Biopsy: What You Need to Know for Diagnosis

Oral Biopsy Arroyo Grande, CA

Dealing with an oral health challenge is not how anyone wants to spend their time, but the good news is that an oral biopsy can clarify the problem and how best to approach it. An oral surgeon may use a biopsy to diagnose issues like infections or potentially cancerous cells. However, patients should not feel worried. An oral biopsy is not a surgery and can typically be done right in the office in less than an hour. Here is an overview of what patients need to know about how diagnosis works with an oral biopsy.

How diagnostic oral biopsies work

An oral biopsy is a diagnostic tool that surgeons can use to gain more information about the tissues inside a patient’s mouth. They take tissue samples that a lab professional will look at under a microscope to see if any cells are not growing correctly or to check for signs of infection and other issues.

Why someone needs an oral biopsy

A person may need an oral biopsy for any of the following reasons.

Unusual tissue

If an oral surgeon notices that the palate, cheek, gum, or tongue tissue is discolored or oddly textured, they may choose to biopsy the area. This will remove a section of skin to be sent off for visualization under a microscope in a lab. Skin that has become rough, reddened, or sunken may be a good candidate for an oral biopsy.

Lumps and bumps

Soft or hard lumps inside the mouth can be a cause for concern that may prompt an oral surgeon to recommend a biopsy. Lumps can indicate an infection or abscess growing underneath the skin and potentially, cancerous cells beginning to proliferate. An oral biopsy will examine either the tissue itself or any material inside, such as pus, for bacteria and abnormal cells.

Abnormal growths

If an area of the mouth is experiencing a growth that appears like a skin tag or detached flap of skin, this can indicate tissue decay or cancerous tissue. In either case, an oral surgeon will likely recommend an oral biopsy.

The oral biopsy process

An oral surgeon has multiple approaches for conducting an oral biopsy. The first is an incisional biopsy, in which the surgeon makes an incision into the suspicious region. They will not remove the entire area; instead, the surgeon will take a tissue sample. Next, they will remove a small sample of healthy tissue near the site of the problematic skin. The lab will view each individually and then compare both to see the differences and spot any potential problems before they worsen.

Alternatively, the oral surgeon can perform an excisional biopsy. In this scenario, they will remove the entire area of concern, typically in an attempt to stop the problem from spreading or worsening. This option is most common for small growths and those close to the front of the mouth, where they are easily accessible. The tissue will still be tested and viewed under a microscope, even if the entire problem seems to have been removed during the biopsy.

Does an oral biopsy hurt?

Oral biopsies require the oral surgeon to cut into living tissue in the mouth. However, this does not necessarily mean that the process is painful. The surgeon will use topical numbing medication or other pain relief options, depending on the location of the problematic area and what type of biopsy they intend to perform.

Generally, patients will not feel pain during an oral biopsy. They may feel pressure or poking sensations while the surgeon works, though, so it is vital to take any prescribed pain medication after the procedure to ensure that pain and discomfort do not arise later. The tissue in the mouth heals quickly, but patients should treat the site gently for a few days for the best results.

Pursue diagnosis with an oral biopsy

An oral biopsy is a useful diagnostic tool for oral surgeons, as they can either remove a small section of tissue or the entire problematic area, depending on the patient’s unique needs. However, entrusting this process to a skilled oral surgeon is crucial. Our team takes oral biopsies quite seriously, and we will keep you comfortable and informed from beginning to end. Contact our office to schedule your oral biopsy or ask any questions that you have about the process and the recovery afterward, so we can properly address any of your concerns.

Request an appointment here: https://arroyogrande.centralcoastoms.com or call Wilson Oral Surgery at (805) 476-2567 for an appointment in our Arroyo Grande office.

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