What is Leukoplakia?
Oral leukoplakia is the most prequent potentially malignant disorder of oral mucosa, it was first defined by World Health Organization in 1978 as a white patch or plaque which cannot otherwise be characterized pathologically or clinically as any other disease.
It is a precancerous lesion, a tissue alteration in which cancer is more likely to develop. Most leukoplakia patches are benign or noncancerous, though few show early signs of cancer. Cancers at the bottom of the mouth can occur next to areas of leukoplakia and white areas mixed in with red areas (speckled leukoplakia) may indicate the potential for cancer.
How does Leukoplakia look? Types of Leukoplakia
Leukoplakia is classified into two main types:
- Homogeneous type which appears as a uniform, flat white lesion altering or not with normal mucosa.
- Non-homogeneous type which includes speckled, nodular and verrucous leukoplakia. The speckled type is a red and white lesion, with a predominantly white surface. Verrucous leukoplakia has an elevated, proliferative or corrugated surface appearance. The nodular type has small polypoid outgrowths, rounded predominantly white excrescences.
What are the symptoms of Leukoplakia?
Leukoplakia is characterized by unusual patches inside your mouth which can vary in appearance and may have the following features:
- White or gray color
- Thick, hard, raised surface
- Hairy (hairy leukoplakia only)
- Red spots (rare)
What are the causes of Leukoplakia?
The exact cause of leukoplakia is still unknown. It’s primarily linked to the use of tobacco where smoking is the most common cause.
Other causes of Leukoplakia include:
- Injury to the inside of the cheek, such as from biting
- dentures, especially if improperly fitted
- Rough, uneven teeth
- Inflammatory conditions of the body
- long-term alcohol use
- The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the main cause of hairy leukoplakia, once infected, it remains in the body permanently.
EB Virus is usually dormant. However, it might develop hairy leukoplakia patches at any time. Such outbreaks are more common in people with HIV or other immune problems
What are the Symptoms of Oral Lichen Planus?
Removing the source of irritation. For example, if leukoplakia is caused by a rough tooth or an irregular surface on a denture or filling the tooth will be smoothed and dental appliances repaired. If leukoplakia is caused by smoking, you will be asked to minimize or stop smoking or using other tobacco products.
At Bangalore Dental Implants for treating leukoplakia, we not only use the above-mentioned ways but also use laser technology for getting better results.
- Laser technology is used in the excision or vaporization of leukoplakia in the tongue and buccal mucosa.
- Laser surgery is a first-rate advanced procedure which can be done in one appointment and with the use of a local anesthetic.
- Removal of Leukoplakia is really successful with the use of laser but biopsy of the suspected area must still be done in order to rule out the possibility of cancer.
- The wound healing process after the removal of leukoplakia with a laser is very fast.
- The laser surgery of leukoplakia provides not only a fast and effective treatment method but also a promising new approach in the effective management of the lesions with exceptional wound healing capability.
Consult your dentist immediately in case you spot unusual patches in your mouth and get treated before it turns out to be serious