JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Pigmented lesions of the oral cavity].

Pigmented lesions of the oral cavity are of multiple origin. They can be subdivided as follows: non tumoral pigmentations, non melanin pigmented tumors or tumor-like lesions, benign melanin pigmented tumors and malignant melanomas. Among non tumoral pigmented lesions, some of them show melanin deposits: they can be associated with a systemic disease (Peutz Jeghers syndrome, Addison's disease) or have a medicamentous origin, or belong to a lichen migricans. Non tumoral and non melanin pigmentations are principally due to a heavy metal accumulation or an accidental tatoo arising after tooth treatment. Peripheral giant cell granuloma, so-called giant cell epulis is the major non pigmented non melanin pseudotumoral lesion; pigmentation is due to hemosiderin deposits. In the oral cavity nevi are principally of the intramucosal type. Blue nevus, the second type in frequency, is usually located on the hard palate. Primary malignant melanomas are rare in the oral cavity, but it is--because its very bad prognosis--the most important lesion. In order to improve the survival it is necessary to do the diagnosis as early as possible.

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