Dental Problems

What is Oral Lichen Planus? – Symptoms, Causes

Oral Lichen planus is an inflammatory disease causing lesions inside your mouth. Generally it affects middle-aged adults and it is less common in children.

What is Oral Lichen Planus?

Oral Lichen Planus (OLP) is a non-infectious chronic inflammatory disease. It causes lesions, bilateral white striations, plaques on buccal mucosa, papules, gingivae and tongue. Sometimes erosions, blisters and erythema may be formed. According to current research it is defined as T-cell-mediated auto-immune disease where autocytotoxic T cells will trigger apostasies of the oral epithelial cells. Middle aged adults generally get effected with oral lichen planus, and the children are less prone.

Symptoms of Oral Lichen Planus

  • Tender or painful mouth lesions
  • Soreness of gums and oral mucosa
  • Dry mouth
  • Metallic taste
  • Occasionally, lesions may spread to gums
  • Poorly defined areas of white or blue spots (they usually look like pimples)
  • Sensitivity to spicy and hot foods

Causes of Oral Lichen Planus

  • Formation of lichen planus is insidious, usually the patients will be unaware of its commencement
  • Even after numerous case studies and research, proper causes for oral lichen planus are unknown. However, the experts related it to an immune reaction or allergy

Risks of Oral Lichen Planus

  • Hepatitis C disorder
  • Exposure to dyes, medications and some chemical substances (such as arsenic, antibiotics, chloroquine, diuretics, gold, iodides, quinacrine, quinide and phenothiazines)

Treatment for Oral Lichen Planus

Eastern countries like India prefer Homeopathic treatment, as it can avoid recurrence. The main goal of treatment will be to reduce the symptoms and heal the lesions quickly. So the treatments include

  • Antihistamines
  • Lidocaine mouth washes for easy food intake (This mouth wash numbs the area)
  • Immune-suppressing medication
  • Oral corticosteroids like prednisone are used to reduce inflammation
  • In some cases ultraviolet light therapy can be helpful

Prevention of Oral Lichen Planus

Patients with oral lichen planus are advised to follow some instructions, otherwise the problem can become serious

  • Stop alcohol consumption and smoking as they can worsen the effects
  • Eat nutritious food with plenty of fruits, green vegetables and leafy salads
  • Pay attention, especially when symptoms get exacerbated
  • Try to have regular dental examination

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