Oral Biopsy, Atlanta

It is natural to be concerned when you are told you need an oral biopsy. However, it is crucial to understand that an oral pathology screening is a valuable tool that is safe and effective in diagnosing a wide range of possible oral health issues. An oral biopsy helps us diagnose diseases of the mouth, gums, teeth, and jaw so that we can develop an effective treatment plan. Our oral surgeons routinely perform oral pathology services, including biopsies, clinical exams, lab tests, and digital imaging, to identify potential problems and recommend the appropriate treatment.

What is an Oral Biopsy?

An oral biopsy is a surgery performed in our offices. Our oral surgeons remove a small portion of oral tissue or bone from the mouth, teeth, or gums that is evaluated by a lab for signs of oral pathology. The biopsy is an essential first step toward proper treatment.

Why Do I Need an Oral Biopsy?

If your doctor or dentist has recommended an oral pathology screening, they want to get to the root of an oral health issue. Oral or bone lesions, persistent oral inflammation, or other problems interfering with oral function are common reasons for an oral biopsy. The results will indicate the cause if dental x-rays or digital imaging have not been conclusive or if cancer is suspected.

Although some oral lesions or other abnormalities may be a warning sign of oral cancer, other conditions may cause lesions, ulcers, or abnormalities, including oral warts, canker sores, thrush, mucocele, frictional hyperkeratosis, and fibromas. Some of these may require treatment with medication or surgical removal. In contrast, others heal on their own or can be left alone and monitored by their doctor or dentist.

What is the Treatment Process Like?

During your oral pathology appointment, one of our oral surgeons thoroughly examines your teeth, gums, oral cavity, jawbone, and the lining of the cheeks and lips. X-rays and 3D images may also be taken and evaluated. This gives us a complete picture of your oral health and allows us to tailor the biopsy process to your situation.

If you are nervous about the procedure, you may request and be given some sedation to relax you. We then apply a local anesthetic to the area or use a nerve block, so you do not feel any pain during the surgery. A small, elliptical incision is made around the lesion or in the area of swelling, removing a tiny tissue sample. The tissue sample is evaluated under a microscope and sent to a laboratory for testing, which can take up to two weeks.

The biopsy shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes. We apply pressure to stop any bleeding, then suture the incision closed. Sterile gauze is placed over the site to encourage blood clotting. When you go home, you must change the gauze dressing every half hour on the biopsy day.

Recovery Timeline After Oral Biopsy

Do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth on the day of your biopsy. For the first 2-3 days, avoid strenuous activity and exercise, as these can contribute to excessive bleeding and inflammation. If you have swelling, ice packs on the side of the face can help.

After the first day, you should rinse your mouth regularly with warm salt water and brush carefully, avoiding the incision site.

For the first 4-5 days, avoid anything that could irritate the surgical site. Until the area is completely healed, avoid crunchy or hard foods such as chips, nuts, and popcorn. Stick to a soft diet and avoid spicy or sour foods for the first week to ten days.

If you have symptoms of oral pathology, our oral surgeons perform a thorough exam of your oral cavity and perform an oral biopsy in our offices. Call one of our offices to schedule an appointment or complete our Request an Appointment form. Keep in mind that catching oral pathology early can provide more treatment options and quicker recovery.

Our board-certified specialists will perform a thorough examination of your oral cavity. Catching oral pathology early can provide more treatment options. Call one of our offices to schedule an appointment or complete our Request an Appointment form.