Oral Biopsies

It is important to see your dental professional about any sore or pain in the mouth that doesn’t go away in 3 weeks. They will ask questions about your medical and dental history. Your entire mouth, including your lips and teeth, will be checked. A biopsy or other tests may also be done.

What are precancerous and cancerous oral lesions?

Pre-cancerous oral lesions are abnormal cell growths in our around the mouth. They may become cancer. Cancerous oral lesions are life-threatening cell changes in the mouth. These lesions need to be detected early to give you a better chance for a cure.

Signs and symptoms

The signs and symptoms of precancerous and cancerous oral lesions may include:

  • A sore in the mouth that doesn’t heal within 3 weeks
  • White or red lesions or ulcers on the tongue, gums, or lining of the mouth that don’t go away
  • Tenderness or pain in the mouth that persists


A biopsy is the best way to find out if a lesion is precancerous our cancerous. During a biopsy the area around the lesion will be numbed. A part of the lesion will then be removed and sent to a lab to be examined under a microscope.