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A Guide to Clinical Differential Diagnosis of Oral Mucosal Lesions

Course Number: 110

Table 7. Benign Salivary Gland Tumors

Well-circumscribed; slowly growing; asymptomatic; overlying mucosa is normal unless traumatized; occur only where salivary glands are present (everywhere in the oral mucosa except midline and anterior hard palate, gingiva and attached alveolar mucosa).
Pleomorphic adenoma (Mixed tumor)Encapsulated; firm or compressible
Monomorphic adenomaEncapsulated; firm or compressible
OncocytomaEncapsulated; firm; occurs in older adults
Papillary cystadenoma lymphomatosum
(Warthin tumor)
Encapsulated; firm or compressible; occurs in parotid gland
Adenoid cystic carcinoma*Firm
Acinic cell carcinoma*Firm
Mucoepidermoid carcinoma, low-grade*Compressible or fluctuant
Polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma*Firm
  • These are malignant neoplasms, but they sometimes have the clinical & historical features of benign neoplasms.