Oral pathology reference: Cases 1–6

May 9, 2024
These six cases represent pathology you may encounter in your practice. Use these clinical presentations and diagnoses to help you determine treatment in future cases.
Vicki Cheeseman, Associate Editor

Oral pathology cases can pop up in any dental specialty, so sharpening your detection skills is crucial. Learning from your colleagues is one of the best ways to improve clinical knowledge so you know how to diagnose and treat, and when to refer to a specialist.

Enjoy our roundup of pathology cases from DentistryIQ readers and keep these cases handy as a reference tool.

Patient: 14-year-old female entering orthodontics

  • Congenitally missing teeth nos. 17 and 32
  • 5 mm circular radiopaque lesion between the lower one-third root apices of nos. 26 and 27

The case of the ortho patient with a benign tumor

Patient: 38-year-old male

  • 3 mm radiolucent/cystlike lesion surrounding a mesial/inferior-positioned no. 17
  • 18: normal pocketing and normal testing to cold, percussion, and bite

A cystlike lesion that didn’t bother the patient

Patient: 36-year-old male

  • 2x2 cm well-defined radiopaque lesion in the right submandibular region
  • Lesion slightly palpable upon extraoral manipulation but not necessarily tender

“But it doesn’t hurt”

Patients: 14-year-old female and 13-year-old male


  • Large, multilocular radiolucent lesion within the entire ramus and posterior body of the right mandible
  • 32 within the lesion
  • Cortical expansion in the area


  • Expanding radiolucency encompassing impacted tooth no. 11.
  • Multilocular radiolucency extending from the maxillary midline to the area of the left permanent second molar and expanding into the left maxillary sinus
  • Cortical expansion in the area

Two patients with the same diagnosis but different treatment

Patient: 54-year-old female

  • Buccal mucosa bilaterally erythematous and atrophic
  • Very tender to palpation

Manifestation of a common intraoral autoimmune inflammatory disease

Patient: 53-year-old male

  • Incidental, well-defined, circular radiolucent area noted between roots of the mandibular right canine and first premolar
  • Unremarkable health history

Incidental finding requires surgical excision

Have you recently encountered a pathology case in your practice that you’d like to share? Email your details to Bethany Montoya, BAS, RDH, the editorial director of Clinical Insights. We look forward to featuring you!

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Clinical Insights newsletter, a publication of the Endeavor Business Media Dental Group. Read more articles and subscribe.

Vicki Cheeseman is an associate editor in Endeavor Business Media’s Dental Group. She edits for Dental EconomicsRDH, Perio-Implant Advisory, DentistryIQ, and Clinical Insights.