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Monday, December 9, 2013
Unusual color change in the mouth
My friend has noticed that inside her lower has changed to a yellow color. As she descibed it, "it looks like chicken fat" instead of the regular pink color. I`m thinking she should be very concerned and seek the advice of a dentist ASAP. I tried to look online to see if I could find anything like what she described, but could not locate anything. Everything I found talked about whitened areas. Any suggestions?
Many things are missing from your description, especially the precise location of this "lower" area of color change. With that limitation, several common things can give the mucosa (skin lining the mouth) a yellow appearance, although they usually have fairly distinct features on examination. These include:
- increased fatty (adipose) tissue
- small glands (minor salivary or ectopic sebaceous)
- collections of white blood cells similar to lymph nodes (lymphoid aggregates)
- and benign epithelial cysts.
Even scar tissue can appear more yellowish, due to a reduction in the amount of blood vessels that normally make the mucosa appear pink.
While none of these conditions are serious, your friend would probably gain peace of mind from a dental examination to confirm that the color change is innocuous and requires no treatment.
John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
Associate Dean of Dentistry Administration
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University