• Oral melanoma (malignant melanoma or melanosarcoma) is a tumour of melanin pigment producing cells (melanocytes). The cancers are rapidly growing and unfortunately are rarely completely cured by surgical removal.

  • Oral papillomas are benign tumours of the epithelial lining of the mouth and throat caused by papillomaviruses. The viruses are specific for that species of animal and fairly site specific but can be transmitted to skin or eyes if the protective outer epithelium is damaged.

  • Squamous cell carcinomas are malignant cancers originating from the lining cells of the mouth. They are locally invasive and often recurrent.

  • The so-called periodontum is the structure surrounding the tooth which includes the gum, the alveolar bone and the periodontal ligament. These structures can become diseased and unable to support the tooth which itself may be healthy.

  • Within a few hours of a meal an invisible layer of bacteria forms on the teeth. This is plaque. Within 24 hours this starts to harden, absorb minerals and becomes dental calculus or tartar.