Diseases of the oral mucosa are generally caused by bacteria or viruses and are often associated with painful inflammations, irritations or swellings. But in most of the cases they are harmless. To exclude the option of a malignant disease (such as an oral cavity tumor), striking changes of the oral mucosa should always be examined by a dentist.
Herpes infections, aphtha (inflamed, white blisters) or fungal infections are the most frequent types of diseases of the oral mucosa. These diseases are painful and can be obstructive during chewing, swallowing and sometimes even while speaking, but they can be treated effectively with special mouth rinses, balms and other medicine.
Malignant tumors in the oral cavity, however, must be removed surgically or treated with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.
The oral mucosa is always checked at each routine examination at the dentist, as especially in case of cancer a timely recognition is of crucial importance for the success of the treatment. If a pathological change is detected, a tissue sample will be taken (the so-called biopsy), which will then be examined in the laboratory. Thus, the type of disease, and consequently the appropriate treatment, can be determined.