Pigmented, brown or black lesions

Published on March 29, 2017   53 min

Other Talks in the Series: Oral & Maxillofacial Medicine

My name is Dr. Sook-Bin Woo, and I am Associate Professor at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. The topic for this lecture is Pigmented, Brown or Black Lesions of the Oral Cavity.
Pigmentations can occur from either an exogenous sources, which means outside the body, or from an endogenous source, which means inside the body. The most common exogenous sources of pigmentation are foods that we eat every day, so things like coffee and tea that we drink will often cause staining of the teeth. Other very common exogenous pigments that can cause lesions in the oral cavity include amalgam, graphite, medications that are taken, ritual tattoos that occur in some cultures in the world, as well as imbibing heavy metals for whatever reason. Endogenous pigments are those that are produced by the cells within the body and the two most common are melanin pigment produced by melanocytes, which are often found on the skin and also of coarse within the oral epithelium as well as blood-related pigments, and these are related primarily to the break down of red blood cells. I just wanted to mention an interesting chemical called homogentisic acid, which is a phenolic acid that is produced in the body or accumulates in the body in patients with alkaptonuria which is poorly controlled, and this causes very dark pigmentation of many organs in the body. But we're not going to talk about that today. It's just sort of an interesting side note.