What is Oral Leukoplakia?

What is Oral Leukoplakia?

Regular oral check-ups performed by our dentists in West Hollywood are necessary in order to prevent and treat oral health problems. One such problem that can develop in the elderly or people with a compromised immune system is leukoplakia, which consists of potentially dangerous lesions that could possibly serve as early warning signs of oral cancer. Dentists may refer to these as precancerous lesions. It is vital to catch these lesions early on so that they can be treated promptly. If you have a particularly weak immune system, you may need to see your dentist more often than the recommended twice a year.

There are several causes that could ultimately lead to leukoplakia, including:

• A chemical or mechanical irritation of the mucous membrane within the mouth• Candida Albicans or the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)• Constant exposure to UV radiation• Excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and/or chewing tobacco

f you are concerned that you might have developed leukoplakia, our dentist can determine it is right for you. By carefully examining the lesions, our dentist can rule out certain other causes, and if they might be malignant, we will order a histopathological examination, which requires a biopsy. A small portion of the lesion will be removed and sent to a lab for examination.

As long as leukoplakia is caught within a certain timeframe, it is fairly easily treatable. A patient may only need a surgical excision to remove it, only needing to come in periodically for check-ups to make sure everything remains fine. Cryosurgery is another option, which involves freezing the lesion off using liquid nitrogen.