Types of lesions in the oral cavity

The oral cavity is made up of several types of mucosal, connective, muscular and dental tissues that react differently to external stimuli. Any substance introduced into the oral cavity may have irritant or allergenic potential, depending on its properties or the patient’s local immune system.


Reactivity of oral cavity tissues may occur in correlation with the following factors:

Local infections

Secondary infections: the starting point is in other organs but the manifestation is remote in the oral cavity


Mechanical, thermal, chemical irritants

It is not entirely possible to prevent the development of lesions in the oral cavity, but with rigorous hygiene, by maintaining oral health, the risk of developing foreign formations is considerably reduced.

Types of oral cavity lesions with fluid content

Vesicles – are small round or oval, translucent, small elevations, less than 5 mm in diameter, containing serum or blood and having a central depression. In evolution they may resorb, rupture (giving rise to a crust under which a small erosion is found), confluence (forming bubbles), or become infected (forming pustules).

Bubbles are round or oval-shaped elevations, ranging in size from 5 mm to several centimeters, with a liquid content that may be clear, cloudy or hemorrhagic. They can be located in the mucous membranes (oral, conjunctival, nasal), but also on the integument. In evolution, like vesicles, they may resorb, rupture, with subsequent crusting, or the contents of the bullae may become cloudy and purulent.

Pustules are circumscribed elevations, variable in size but often less than 1 cm, white or yellow in color and with purulent contents. As they evolve, by drying of the contents or after their rupture, yellow-brown crusts form which are removed leaving a more or less persistent pigmentation.

Types of fissure lesions in the oral cavity

Erosion is a superficial, well-defined loss of substance that heals without scarring, leaving only a residual pigmented stain. It may occur as the first manifestation of oral lesions or it may occur through the evolution of blisters, bullae or pustules.

Ulceration is a loss of substance deeper than erosion, round, oval or irregular, with a smooth or irregular base and edges of varying shapes, either smooth, fringed or raised. The ulceration always heals with a scar.

A fissure is a linear erosion or ulceration of the superficial epithelium, located in inflamed areas subject to stretching movements. By being located in functional areas, fissures are particularly painful. The fissures mainly affect the corners of the mouth and the keratinized mucosa of the lips.

In their course, the lesions described above may heal without leaving any marks, by scarring or by atrophy of the tissue in which they were lodged. The scar is a fibrous repair tissue produced by the body to replace the defect.

Scars are always much harder in structure than the original tissue and may be unsightly or give reduced mobility. Atrophy is the reduction in volume of tissue through the loss of constituent substances.

Traumatic injuries of the oral cavity are the most common type of injury and can be caused by a number of factors. These include: foreign objects in the mouth such as bark or seeds, contact sports or car accidents.

The most common traumatic injuries of the oral cavity include soft tissue injuries such as ulcers, wounds or scratches.

These injuries can occur in any area of the oral cavity and can be painful or bleeding.

More severe traumatic injuries may include dental or jaw fractures, dental dislocations or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dislocations. These injuries can be painful and may require surgical treatment.

Infections of the oral cavity

Infections of the oral cavity can be caused by a variety of organisms such as bacteria, viruses or fungi. These infections can affect a wide range of structures such as teeth, gums, oral mucosa or salivary glands.

Among the most common infections of the oral cavity are tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontitis.

Tooth decay is caused by a combination of bacteria and food that form dental plaque, while gingivitis and periodontitis are inflammations of the gums and the tissue supporting the teeth.

Other infections of the oral cavity include dental abscesses, oral candidiasis and oral herpes.

These infections can be painful and may require treatment with antibiotics, antifungals or antivirals.


Neoplasms of the oral cavity are rare but can be serious. They can be benign or malignant and can affect any area of the oral cavity, including the teeth, oral mucosa, salivary glands or jaw bones.

The oral cavity is a complex and variable region that can be affected by a variety of lesions.

These injuries can have a wide range of causes, such as mechanical trauma, infections, neoplasms or systemic disorders. In this article, we examine the most common types of oral cavity injuries, including causes, symptoms and treatment options.

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