Oral Biopsy in Salt Lake City

The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign of a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer. The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathological process or cancerous growth:

  • Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth
  • A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
  • A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing

Oral cancer screenings are part of your regular exam. Dr. Mangelson will suggest a biopsy for any suspicious lesions.

Changes may occur on the lips, cheeks, palate, gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology and, curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may be at risk for oral cancer.

What Is an Oral Biopsy?

An oral biopsy is a medical procedure that involves removing a small piece of tissue from the mouth, throat, or related structures. It is done to examine the sample under a microscope to diagnose diseases, such as oral cancer, infections, or other pathological processes.

Why Might I Need an Oral Biopsy?

You might need an oral biopsy if your dentist or periodontist discovers abnormalities in your mouth. These can include persistent sores, lumps, thickened areas, or discolored patches of tissue. An oral biopsy helps to determine whether these abnormalities are benign (non-cancerous), pre-cancerous, or cancerous.

How Is an Oral Biopsy Performed?

An oral biopsy can be performed using different techniques, depending on the area and the nature of the abnormality. The most common method is an excisional biopsy, where the entire area of concern is removed. An incisional biopsy involves removing a small section of the abnormal tissue. Local anesthesia is typically used to numb the area, and the procedure is usually quick.

Is an Oral Biopsy Painful?

An oral biopsy is generally not painful because the area will be numbed with a local anesthetic. You may feel a pinch or slight pressure when the anesthesia is administered. After the biopsy, when the anesthesia wears off, there can be some discomfort or soreness, which can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.

What Can I Expect After an Oral Biopsy?

After an oral biopsy, you may experience slight bleeding or soreness at the biopsy site. It’s important to follow post-operative care instructions from your periodontist, which may include dietary restrictions, oral hygiene practices, and possibly a prescription for a pain reliever or mouth rinse. The tissue sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis, and results typically return within one to two weeks, after which your periodontist will discuss the findings and any further treatment with you.


Dr. Mangelson recommends performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly. It is essential to note that your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. If you have a concern or see something that you think is abnormal in your mouth, please contact Salt Lake Implants & Periodontics at 801-266-3519. We will schedule you for an oral biopsy in Salt Lake City, Utah.