Oral lesions

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A mouth ulcer.


A lesion in the mouth.



About 10% of the population have a harmless mouth ulcer at any moment. Oral cancer is also quite common.

Differential Diagnosis

Basically runs down to two conditions:

  • Ulcers - Very common, and most commonly completely harmless. Any ulcer that hasn't healed within 2 weeks should be immediately investigated as it could be...
  • Mouth cancer - The first presentation of mouth or tongue cancer can be hard lumps, ulcers and white patches - leukoplakia.


We think it is unlikely that as a medical student you will be expected to know much about all this. Learn about ENT cancer, and know that aside from that, other mouth lesions are likely to be harmless.