The clinical characteristics of benign oral mucosal tumors

Irit Allon*, Ilana Kaplan, Gavriel Gal, Gavriel Chaushu, Dror M. Allon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To investigate the clinical characteristics and pre- biopsy provisional diagnoses of benign oral mucosal tumors.

Material and Methods: A 10- year retrospective analysis of all benign tumors of the oral mucosa, from a universityaffiliated oral and maxillofacial surgery department.

Results: 146 benign tumors were included. The mean age was 49.6 years, with an approximately equal gender distribution. The most prevalent tumor types were lipomatous tumors (27.4%), vascular (23.3%), and salivary gland tumors (16.5%). Tongue, labial and buccal mucosa were the most frequently involved sites. The vast majority (98.6%) presented as non-ulcerated masses. Only 2 (1.4%) presented as ulcerated masses. The clinical provisional diagnosis correctly classified lesions as non-malignant in 93.3%. In only 9 (6.7%) suspicion of malignancy was included in the provisional diagnosis. However, benign neoplasia was unsuspected in 42.1% of tumors. These cases were clinically classified as reactive.

Conclusions: Benign tumors were most likely to be clinically correctly classified as non-malignant, but even in the setting of experienced oral surgeons, neoplasia was unsuspected in more than 40% of cases. This data strongly supports the need to biopsy every oral mucosal mass, since inaccurate clinical evaluation of the lesion’s biological nature was a frequent event.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19387
Pages (from-to)e438-e443
JournalMedicina Oral, Patologia Oral y Cirugia Bucal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014


  • Benign
  • Clinical diagnosis
  • Malignant
  • Non-ulcerated mass
  • Reactive
  • Ulcerated mass


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