Apr 16, 2022

What Is Dental Biopsy? How Painful Is a Tongue Biopsy?

A dental biopsy is a procedure that involves removing a small portion of your mouth’s soft tissue for examination. Dental biopsies usually focus only on the soft tissues of your oral cavity. It means that the kind of tissues that your dentist can target are your gums or your tongue. A tongue biopsy involves taking sample tissue from your tongue, while a gum biopsy obtains the tissue from your gums.

Why Would You Need a Dental Biopsy?

The reason our dentists at Family Dental Care – Evergreen Park would recommend a dental biopsy near you is to test for abnormalities in your soft tissues. Ideally, it means that the test will be a biopsy of mouth ulcers, lesions, or other anomalies in your tongue and gums. Some causes for dental biopsy are:
  1. A mouth sore or lesion on your gums that lasts for a long time without healing.
  2. A red or white patch on your gums or tongue.
  3. Swelling, redness, or pain of your mouth’s soft tissues.
  4. Having loose teeth is an indicator that the gums are changing or receding.
  5. Tongue or gum ulcers.
All the above factors are indicators that may point to oral cancer. However, your dentist cannot come to such a conclusion until after several tests. Other than a biopsy, a dental expert will typically run other tests like MRI or CT scans to determine the progression of cancer, revealing the stage of your existing cancer.

Preparing for a Dental Biopsy

It is best to prepare accordingly before any treatment in dentistry. However, regarding dental biopsies, not much preparation is necessary. You only need to inform your dentist of any medication you use before your biopsy. The reason is that some components in certain medications can influence the test. Besides, if you are taking blood thinners, let your dentist know since the medicine can affect the blood clotting process, which is necessary for healing the soft tissues.

The other consideration to prepare you for your treatment is eating. You cannot eat close to the time of your biopsy. You may need a few more hours between your last meal and your mouth biopsy appointment.

What to Expect During Your Biopsy

The first thing you should know is that the test is commonly performed by either an oral surgeon or a periodontist. However, a dentist too can do a dental biopsy. After sterilizing the target area, your dentist with numb your mouth. Sedation dentistry is often part of mouth biopsies, particularly tongue biopsies.

Before taking out any soft tissue from your mouth, the dentist will consider the state of the operation area. For example, general anesthesia will work better than oral sedation with a hard tumor or lesion on your tongue or gums. It will cast you in a deep sleep during the procedure. The same may apply if the target area is hard to reach and may require much moving around.

Is the Procedure Painful?

During a dental biopsy, you will experience pain because of the surgical measures therein. Depending on the type of biopsy, the dentist may either make a small incision on your soft tissue or insert a fine needle through the lesion repeatedly to obtain the tissues. Either way, the procedure will cause significant discomfort. Besides that, the dentist may stitch the wound to close the open area in your tongue or gums. If not, (s)he will use an electric current or laser to stop the bleeding by sealing the blood vessels.

Thankfully, local anesthesia numbs your mouth so that you will not feel any pain during the procedure. Once your oral surgeon numbs your mouth, all you need is to sit still until the procedure is complete.

Treatment Options Available for Dental Biopsy

Treatment varies widely, depending on the results of the test. The treatment will differ from a bacterial or fungal infection if the tissue is cancerous. The treatment options include:
  • Mouth rinses
  • Antibiotics
  • Lifestyle changes – including quitting habits like smoking or drinking alcohol.
  • Tongue scrapers to clean the tongue
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Pain relievers
  • Oral anti-fungal medication
  • Warm salt water rinses
  • Avoiding spicy and acidic foods

Previous Blog Post


Maxillofacial Surgery: Can A Maxillofacial Surgeon Perform Rhinoplasty?

What Is Rhinoplasty? It is a cosmetic nasal surgery that improves the appearance of your nose. The surgery concerns contouring and reshaping the nose to adopt a desirable appearance, usually one that accentuates the rest of your facial features. It means that such a procedure can increase or reduce the size of your nose accordingly,…

Read More