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Leukoplakia Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Leukoplakia?

It is a disorder that involves mucus membranes of the mouth. Leukoplakia is characterized by white, thickened patches that appear on the gums, bottom of the mouth and inside of the cheeks. These patches can also appear on the tongue. Doctors have failed to understand what exactly roots the condition, however they consider tobacco, either in form of chewed or smoked to be its major trigger.

Leukoplakia is not a serious condition, though at times, it turns serious. Albeit, patches associated with the condition are noncancerous, yet few show initial symptoms of cancer.

What Are The Alternate Names Of Leukoplakia?

The disorder leukoplakia is also known by the following names:

  • Smoker’s keratosis.
  • Hairy leukoplakia.

What Are The Symptoms Of Leukoplakia?

Patches of leukoplakia:

  • Are of uneven shape.
  • Are often gray or white.
  • Have a hard surface.
  • Are slightly raised.
  • Are fuzzy.
  • Can cause pain in case you eat spicy or acidic food.
  • Are unable to be scrapped off.

When Is The High Time To Seek Medical Assistance?

In case you notice white, thickened patches that appear on the gums, bottom of the mouth and inside of the cheeks, do not delay to take an appointment with your doctor.

What Causes Leukoplakia?

What actually triggers leukoplakia, is unknown till date, however doctors believe irritation caused by any of the following may result leukoplakia:

  • Tobacco smoking.
  • Rough teeth.
  • Consuming too much alcohol.
  • Other tobacco use, specifically pipes.
  • Rough places on crowns, fillings or dentures.
  • Holding snuff or chewing tobacco for a prolonged period.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Leukoplakia?

Specific factors known for augmenting the risks of leukoplakia are:

  • Tobacco use, either by means of cigarette smoking or chewed puts you at a risk of experiencing oral cancer and leukoplakia.
  • Consuming alcohol along with smoking doubles the chances of leukoplakia.
  • Leukoplakia is more observed in elderly adults.

How Is Leukoplakia Diagnosed?

During the visit, the doctor will thoroughly examine your mouth. In order to confirm its diagnosis, he or she can suggest biopsy of the lesion.

How Is Leukoplakia Treated?

The treatment of leukoplakia aims to clear out the patches. Clearly, by removing the basis of irritation can help in the disappearance of patches.

  • Quit drinking alcohol.
  • Do not smoke at all, if possible, quit at once!
  • Do not use other products of tobacco.
  • Treat your dental causes for example fillings, rough teeth etc as soon as you can.
    Yet, the patches failed to respond, the doctor can recommend:
  • Medicine to apply on your patches.
  • Surgery for removing the patches.

What Is The Prognosis Of Leukoplakia?

Often, the disorder is harmless, whilst the patches tend to resolve after the removal of source that has lead to the irritation. However; clearing up of patches may take around weeks or even months.
In certain instances, these patches can be an initial warning of cancer.


By : Natural Health News

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