Dental Problems

Causes of Oral Lichen Planus

Oral-Submucous-FibrosisOral Lichen planus generally occurs in people above 40 years of age. It is a disease with chronic inflammation, which shows symptoms like white spots or stripes inside the mouth on the tongue, inside of the cheeks, lips, etc. But, the causes of oral lichen planus is not known. Oral lichen planus has a low death rate but smoking can increase the risk of infection and can lead to oral cancer.

Causes of oral lichen planus

  • Immune system dysfunction is one of the most common theory which causes oral lichen planus.
  • According to Emedicine, “the oral lichen planus disease is a T-cell mediated autoimmune disease in which autocytotoxic CD8+ T cells trigger the apoptosis of oral epithelial cells”. In this condition, the patients immune system attacks itself, on the cells within the mouth which cause them to turn white. For the treatment, topical corticosteroids can be used.
  • One of the other cause is the dental conditions such as broken restorations, prostheses or sharp teeth. These cause erosion or trauma which should be repaired.
  • Oral lichen planus has also been linked to an allergic reaction to toothpaste and dental amalgum resin.
  • Even though there is a coincidence link between oral lichen planus disease and systemic diseases, but the medications used for the treatment of systemic diseases don’t cause oral lichen planus.
  • Patients are asked to look for beta blockers, some antimalarials, some ACE inhibitors and sulfonylureas, which are the possible causes for oral lichen planus.
  • There are several other suspected causes for oral lichen planus, which include human papillomavirus, Candidas albicans, chewing betel quid, but there is no significant link which has been proven.

These are some of the causes of oral lichen planus, but they are not proven.

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