Benign oral mucosal lesions: Clinical and pathological findings

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 Jul;81(1):43-56. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2018.09.061. Epub 2018 Nov 14.


A diverse spectrum of benign oral mucosal lesions exists, presenting as either isolated oral findings or in association with dermatologic conditions. Oral lesions can closely resemble one another; therefore, it is important for clinicians to be able to recognize their distinctive features, to be able to recognize benign versus malignant disease, and to recognize when obtaining a biopsy specimen is warranted. The first article in this continuing medical education series reviews oral anatomy, the clinical attributes of several benign lesions of the oral cavity, and appropriate management and therapeutic modalities.

Keywords: benign lesions of the oral cavity; benign pigmented lesions; granular cell tumors; neurofibromas; neuromas; oral hemangiomas; peripheral giant cell granulomas; peripheral ossifying fibroma; physiologic hyperpigmentation; pyogenic granuloma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Mouth / pathology*
  • Mouth Diseases / pathology
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / surgery
  • Risk Assessment