You may already be aware that our skin is the best bodyguard we could ask for. That is why we always pay special attention to our protective shell. Even the slightest changes in skin constitutes a mandatory visit to the doctor for many. Our oral mucosa, however, enjoys far less attention – not lastly because of its concealed location. But it shouldn’t be this way: The tissue-like protective layer of the oral cavity is a real jack-of-all-trades. Three different types of mucous membrane ensure that we taste, touch, feel pain, and can sense changes in temperature.
What is the structure of the oral mucosa?
The gums and palate are surrounded by a thick, cornified mucous membrane. Its rough structure protects them from injuries while chewing. The consistency of the tissue on the underside of the tongue, the base of the mouth and vestibule, and on the cheeks and lips, however, is smooth and elastic. Healthy oral mucosa is pink and well-moisturised thanks to its protective salivary film.
In some cases it exhibits individual anatomical characteristics, such as (heterotropic) sebaceous glands or white cornification disorders of the mucous membrane, so-called mucosal naevus. Both occurrences are completely harmless and thus do not require treatment.
Oral mucosa gives the first indications of severe diseases
Along with congenital and acquired changes, the oral mucosa can indicate benign and malignant changes. The state of the oral mucosa can also provide information on the general physical condition of the patient and thus indicate general illnesses. Should you discover spots, nodules, or blisters in your mouth, please inform your oral surgeon as soon as possible.
What treatment is indicated for diseases of the oral mucosa?
Medications with active ingredients like nystatin, among others, are used to fight inflammation of the oral mucosa. They are usually applied locally, although systemic treatment in tablet form may be required in severe cases. At our clinic for oral surgery we take a look at your entire oral cavity in order to rule out any other potential inflammatory foci.
Extraordinary care should be taken with any sort of tumour. Manifestations that appear harmless can reveal themselves to be malignant mutations. When recognised early, however, these are certainly treatable. A tissue sample (biopsy) helps us reliably ascertain what type of oral mucosa disease this is and whether there is any need for immediate treatment.