The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any change in appearance of either the tongue or the gums is the abnormal. The most serious of these is oral cancer. The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:
Reddish patches (erythroplakia) 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.