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Leukoplakia: Diagnosis and Treatment of This Soft Tissue Condition

Posted on 5/9/2022 by Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Leukoplakia: Diagnosis and Treatment of This Soft Tissue ConditionLeukoplakia is a condition that manifests with white or pale lesions that form inside the cheeks, on the tongue, or the bottom area of the mouth. Often, people ask if leukoplakia is dangerous. Generally, leukoplakia isn't harmful and in most cases, people seek treatment for cosmetic purposes since this condition is simply an aesthetic issue. That being said, it is important you take leukoplakia seriously and see a dentist soon you see the lesions. Leukoplakia can signal oral cancer. So to be on the safe side, if you notice any lesions in your mouth see a dentist who will evaluate them.

Causes of Leukoplakia

Smoking or using smokeless tobacco is considered the common cause of this condition. A majority of leukoplakia cases occur in people who smoke. If you wear dentures or bridges, you may also have these lesions. Additionally, people with rough or uneven teeth or those who bite the insides of the cheeks are more likely to have leukoplakia.

Symptoms of leukoplakia are such as pale white or grey discolorations on the mouth's soft tissue. A patient may have upraised or thick surfaces forming on the soft tissue. There may also be irregular textures on the affected areas of the mouth. Additionally, people who have leukoplakia may experience a fuzzy or hairy sensation within the tongue lesions, a condition referred to as hairy leukoplakia.

Diagnosis of Leukoplakia

A dentist can detect leukoplakia by examining the tissues as well as structures of the mouth. The dental specialist will often remove a tissue sample that is analyzed in a lab to find out what exactly it is and whether further treatment is needed. Testing the tissue sample can help determine if there are cancerous cells.

Treatment for Leukoplakia

The ideal treatment is a minor oral surgery that aims at removing the patches affected. If the lesions are caught early, the procedure may not be very invasive. If leukoplakia indicates the presence of oral cancer, a patient should get treatment as soon as possible. To find out more about leukoplakia and other oral conditions, contact our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery specialists.

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