Dental Problems

What is Oral Leukoplakia? – Causes, Symptoms

Oral Leukoplakia is a grey or white patch developed inside your cheeks or on the tongue. It is usually formed due to mouth’s reaction to chronic irritation of mucous membranes. This problem can arise at any age but it is mostly seen among elder.

Causes of Oral Leukoplakia

  • Irritation from rough teeth, fillings, ill-fitted dentures, gums, or crowns that rub against the cheeks
  • Pipe smoking, chronic smoking, and other tobacco use
  • Sun exposure to your lips
  • Oral cancer
  • HIV virus or AIDS

Symptoms of Oral Leukoplakia

  • The common symptom of leukoplakia is painless white patches on your tongue (especially on the side)
  • The lesions can also be formed inside your cheeks, they are in grey or white color.
  • If the patches are in red color, then it is a severe condition called erythroplakia. This may lead to cancer.
  • The surface gets thicken, rough and hardened

Diagnosis for Oral Leukoplakia

  • The dentist easily recognises leukoplakia on general examination
  • He may perform biopsy to rule out any other causes like oral cancer
  • Biopsy is done by examining a small piece of tissue that is cut from the lesion, usually done after numbing the area. The examination is done in a laboratory

Treatment for Oral Leukoplakia

  • Treatment generally includes removing the irritation source. That is, if the lesions are caused due to bad fillings or rough teeth then, they will be corrected first
  • If it is caused due to tobacco products, then there will be restriction on smoking and other tobacco products usage
  • If the lesions still persist after the removal of the source then they must be removed surgically

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