Oral lesions are bumps, ulcers, sores and lumps inside the oral cavity. These lesions can be caused by infection, cancer or inflammation. Oral lesions cause mouth or tongue pain, redness, swelling, bleeding inside the mouth, mouth ulcers and sores, gum swelling and the formation of a white coating inside the oral cavity.
Oral lesions are very common among adults. There are different types and these include leukoplakia, tori, fibromas, inflammatory lesions, hemangiomas, Fordyces granules, papillomas, ulcers, varicosities and epuli.
Leukoplakia is the occurrence of patches of keratosis in the oral cavity. These are adherent white patches which can exist on the mucous membrane and the tongue. Besides being oral lesions, they can also form in the urinary tract, on the genitals and the gastro-intestinal tract. The appearance of these oral lesions can be variable and they are assumed to be precancerous.
Leukoplakia is dissimilar from candidiasis and lichen planus because the oral lesions of leukoplakia can not be scraped off easily. Leukoplalia can not be diagnosed confidently by examination or testing, instead the other reasonable possibilities should be eliminated in order to conclude the existence of leukoplakia.
Candidiasis is a fungal infection which can cause oral lesions as well. This fungal infection can be superficial as well as systemic and potentially critical. When the infection is superficial, it can be in the form of oral thrush or vaginitis. Oral thrush or oral candidiasis affects the mucous membrane in the oral cavity. The oral lesions of oral candidiasis are thick white or cream colored and these can exist on the tongue, gums, inner cheeks, palate and tonsils. Theymay be painful and can bleed upon manipulation. They can also lead to cracking in the oral cavity and temporary loss or alteration of taste.
Oral lesions can also be caused by lichen planus. Lichen planus causes lesions on the tongue, skin and oral mucosa. Oral lesions caused by lichen planus have the potential to last much longer than lesions on the skin. Oral lesions of lichen planus can exist in one of three forms; the reticular form, the bullous form and the erosive form.
Torus mandibularis is a condition in which a bony growth exists in the mandible near the tongue. This condition also leads to the formation of oral lesions on the affected area in the mouth. Torus mandibularis is linked with bruxism and these oral lesions are common in adults,they also complicate the fabrication of dentures. Oral lesions can also be caused by irritation and inflammation. Mostly they are denture related. A chronic friction on the oral mucosa surface can give rise to oral lesions.
The treatment of oral lesions varies and depends upon the cause. Typically, the treatment includes antiviral and antibiotic medications, antiseptic mouthwash, saltwater rinses, and other medications. If required, the treatment may also involve surgery to remove the lesion from the oral cavity.