Melanoma of the Maxillary Anterior Gingiva

Mark Eugene Peacock, Ilanit Stern, Cynthia S Ditslear, Mark R Stevens, Rafik A Abdelsayed


Intraoral melanomas are extremely rare and exhibit a poor prognosis. These lesions have the tendency to metastasize, even more so than melanomas of the skin. Most cases (> 80%) occur on keratinized tissue of the maxilla, palate and gingiva. The clinical presentation can be diverse, demonstrating multiple shapes, sizes, and coloration patterns. Early on, smaller melanomas are usually asymptomatic, but can become painful if they expand. Clinicians should be suspect of changing pigmentations, even though a significant percentage of oral mucosal melanomas are amelanotic. This case report is of an oral melanoma, primary site being the anterior maxilla. The patient did not seek care until the lesion was grossly enlarged and became symptomatic. The primary treatment remains wide surgical excision. Early detection and diagnosis of this malignancy is vital in order to improve the prognosis of these patients.


Amelanotic; Gingiva; Melanoma; Melanocytes; Metastasis; Oral; Pigmentations.

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