Taking a look inside your mouth, you can expect to see that the different aspects of your oral anatomy will reflect a variety of colors and shades. From pink to red, and even black, blue, and brown, the mouth can be a surprisingly colorful place! Sometimes these colors represent normal, healthy tissue, and other times they can indicate an unhealthy condition that may warrant a discussion with your dental surgeon at the very least.
One color that is not commonly seen in the mouth is yellow. Yellow lesions rarely appear within the mouth, and they are limited to just a few known conditions.
The presence of fatty tissue is the most common source of yellow lesions in the mouth. A layer of fat just beneath the lining of the mouth, or fat cells that have migrated into the salivary glands, will appear as various shades of yellow. These types of lesions do not typically pose a threat to your health and do not usually require any treatment. For example, Fordyce granules, a speckling of yellowish dots found along the lining of the cheeks and inside of the lip are quite common and are not harmful.
There are other yellow lesions that are more often associated with an unhealthy condition and could require oral surgery or another form of treatment. Fibrin clots are one such example of lesions often associated with an infected aphthous or traumatic ulcer. An abscess or a pocket of fluid or pus that is located just below the surface of the soft tissue would also fall into this category.
Other causes of yellow lesions can include viral infections, discoloration to the tongue caused by foods or medications, an overgrowth of fat cells, various cysts, and jaundice.
Rare diseases such as Lipoid Proteinosis, Carotenemia, and certain carcinomas can also appear yellow in nature. Lastly, a yellow pigmentation of the gums has been documented in individuals who chew kola nuts.
Our dual degree oral and maxillofacial surgeons can evaluate, diagnose, and treat many of these lesions. Simply call our downtown Chicago surgery office at 312-328-9000 to schedule your consultation today.