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Dental Biopsies

020 3199 4518
St John’s Wood
020 3199 4519
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Your dentist may have identified an area in your mouth that requires investigating further by means of a biopsy. 

What is a dental biopsy?

A biopsy is the removal of a small piece of the area in the mouth that requires investigation and examining it under a microscope. The biopsy tissue, once removed, is sent to a laboratory and a pathologist who specialises in diseases of the head and neck will report on the findings from the microscopic examination leading to a diagnosis and therefore allowing appropriate treatment to be planned.

Your doctor may recommend a gum biopsy to help to diagnose:

    • a sore or lesion on your gum that lasts longer than two weeks
    • a white or red patch on your gum
    • ulcers on your gum
    • swelling of your gum that does not subside
    • changes in your gums that cause loose teeth or dentures

    What is a dental biopsy?

    The area will be made numb with a local anaesthetic, like that used for afilling The biopsy can then be carried out with the whole process usually taking around ten minutes. Dissolvable stitches may be required to close the wound and aid in healing. Sometimes a surgical pack, which will fall out during the first few days after the procedure, is applied to the wound in order to provide more patient comfort. A review appointment will be made for two to three weeks after your biopsy to discuss the result and start further treatment if required.

    Care of your mouth after your biopsy

    • Avoid rinsing your mouth or cleaning your teeth for 24 hours following your biopsy.This may dislodge the blood clot causing the biopsy site to bleed again and beuncomfortable.

    • The local anaesthetic should wear off after about two hours. During the two hours donot consume hot drinks, which may burn your mouth. Be careful not to bite your lipor tongue when eating .

    • It is important to keep your mouth clean to encourage healing. The following day youmay clean your teeth and start to use a warm, salt-water mouthwash. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Use four times a day after eating and continue with these rinses for a minimum of three days

    • If further bleeding occurs gently rinse out theclots with warm water and bite down/ press
    with a finger on a piece of folded gauze or aclean tissue for at least 20 minutes.

    • Over the counter pain relief (ibuprofen 400mg four times daily or paracetamol 1g four times daily) may be taken as required. Do not exceed the recommended dose and check you are not allergic to the medicine before taking it.

    • Some people experience discomfort for a few days after the biopsy when opening the mouth. Therefore a soft diet (such as soups, mashed potato, scrambled egg, custard and mashed banana) may be needed.

    • Try not to smoke for at least 24 hours following your biopsy as this may delay healing.

    • Avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours following the biopsy.


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