- Smoking, including cigars and pipes
- Smokeless tobacco, including chewing tobacco or snuff
- Rough teeth
- Rough places on dentures, fillings, or crowns
- Tobacco use, especially smokeless tobacco
- Long-time alcohol use
- Suppressed immune system, which can occur with chronic health conditions or medications
- White, gray, or red in color
- Thick, slightly raised, or hardened on the surface
|Oral Thrush—Resembles Leukoplakia|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Removing the irritant—Quitting smoking or correcting dental problems often takes care of the problem.
- Removing patches—If the problem persists, or if signs of cancer are present, your dentist or doctor may need to remove patches of leukoplakia. This may be done with surgery, laser treatment, electrocauterization, or freezing.
- Topical medications or solutions that are applied to the patches
- Medicated mouthwashes
- Oral medications, such as retinoids, vitamin A, beta carotene, or lycopene
- Antiviral medications—if the leukoplakia is due to viral infection (more common in people with suppressed immune function)
- If you smoke, talk to your doctor about how you can successfully quit.
- Avoid or limit your use of alcohol.
- See a dentist regularly, especially if you have rough places in your mouth.
Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association http://www.mouthhealthy.org
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research http://www.nidcr.nih.gov
Canadian Dental Association http://www.cda-adc.ca
Canadian Dental Hygienists Association http://www.cdha.ca
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 24, 2014. Accessed June 11, 2015.
Hairy leukoplakia. DermNet NZ website. Available at: http://dermnetnz.org/site-age-specific/hairy-leukoplakia.html. Updated December 29, 2013. Accessed June 11, 2015.
Oral hairy leukoplakia. AETC National Resource Center website. Available at: http://aidsetc.org/guide/oral-hairy-leukoplakia. Accessed June 11, 2015.
Parlatescu I, Gheorghe C, Parlatescu E, Tovaru S. Oral leukoplakia—An update. Maedica (Buchar). 2014;9(1):88-93.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2015 -
- Update Date: 06/11/2015 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing
All rights reserved.