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A gum biopsy, also known as a gingival biopsy, is a medical procedure in which a piece of gum tissue is extracted and examined for abnormalities during laboratory analysis. These abnormalities may be the result of oral cancer or noncancerous mouth sores.

To perform an incisional biopsy, a piece of suspicious tissue as well as a piece of healthy tissue are taken from the mouth and compared side to side. A doctor will then be able to determine where the cancerous cells came from and if they are the result of a different growth within the body.

A gum biopsy may be performed when:

  • A patient has a sore or lesion that lasts longer than two weeks.
  • There are discolorations on the gums.
  • The gums have begun to swell inexplicably.
  • Ulcers have grown onto the gums.
  • Changes on the gums cause you to lose teeth.