Module 1

Describing oral soft tissue lesions

This module is intended to assist you in making differential diagnoses of oral soft tissue diseases. It presents an orderly, systematic approach to examining and describing the pertinent characteristics of soft tissue lesions. You will be equipped with a vocabulary to record your observations. If you have learned basic oral pathology from the standpoint of understanding the process that the descriptive characteristics represent, your concise description of any lesion will also tell you what pathologic processes that lesion is manifesting. From knowing what the lesion is doing, you can deduce a differential diagnosis.

You can describe lesions in relation to:

If you practice describing a variety of lesions, you will develop a systematic, standardized approach to the oral examination and to the description of soft tissue lesions.

In learning to make a differential diagnosis of soft tissue lesions, the first step is to recognize the presence of an abnormal change in function, structure or appearance during a clinical oral examination. In these modules we will only be concerned with changes in structure and appearance.


Click on one of the above criteria: site, morphology or color to begin learning how to describe oral lesions.

Take the quiz

Now you should go take the quiz related to description of oral soft tissue lesions.