Leukoplakia

Monday, August 19, 2013

Leukoplakia are patches on the tongue, in the mouth, or on the inside of the cheek that occur in response to long-term irritation. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Chronic irritation on the tongue or inside the cheek can cause a pre-cancerous lesion called leukoplakia. These appear as raised white or gray patches or bumps.

These pre-cancerous patches in the mouth are caused by irritation from smoking, chewing tobacco or dipping snuff. They can also be caused by rough teeth or dentures.

The typical white patch of leukoplakia develops slowly, over weeks to months. The lesion may become rough in texture, and sensitive to touch, heat or spicy foods. These patches cant easily be scraped off.

To get rid of these pre-cancerous lesions, you must eliminate the source of irritation. Your dentist can work on rough teeth or ill fitting dentures. Any use of tobacco products should be stopped.

Your physician or dentist may perform a biopsy. Although most leukoplakia patches are benign, a small percentage show early signs of cancer.

You should have regular examinations by your physician or dentist to check for these pre-cancerous leukoplakia lesions in the mouth.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.