Leukoplakia of the oral mucosa

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Leukoplakia of the oral cavityLeukoplakia of the mouth - a lesion of the oral mucosa, characterized by its hyperkeratosis (increased keratinization).

It is characterized by the appearance of foci of compaction on the mucous membrane of the cheeks, corners of the mouth, tongue, a feeling of slight burning, constriction and itching. If hygiene measures are observed, the sanation of the oral cavity is carried out, and the irritating factors are eliminated, the leukoplakia can disappear.

It should be noted that the occurrence of leukoplakia does not guarantee its transition to a malignant neoplasm. However, if the horny neoplasms are unevenly colored, or they are localized in the tongue, the risk of a malignant tumor increases.


Why there is leukoplakia of the oral cavity, and what is it? To date, experts have not come to a common opinion on the cause of the cause of leukoplakia. There is a point of view according to which this disease arises from the effects of both external stimuli and internal factors.

Exogenous factors include:

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  1. Long-term thermal irritation of the mucosa- inhalation of hot air in hot shops, consumption of hot food and so on.
  2. Adverse climatic conditionsI am a dry hot climate with frequent winds.
  3. Prolonged chemical irritation of the mucosa- production hazards (refineries, plants of mineral fertilizers, work with alkalis and acids), smoking, drinking strong spirits.
  4. Prolonged systematic mechanical effects on the mucosa- poorly installed dentures and fillings, caries, malocclusion, abnormal teeth growth, rough food and so on.

Internal factors include various pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract, which significantly reduce the resistance of the mucosa to the action of negative influences. Also, a deficiency of vitamin A, responsible for the vision and condition of the epithelium, including the oral cavity can contribute to the development of the disease.


Leukoplakia is a precancerous disease that develops due to chronic irritation and inflammation of the mucosa. The risk of malignant degeneration is particularly high with uneven coloration of the neoplasm and when it is localized on the bottom of the mouth and on the back of the tongue.

Smokers sometimes develop nicotine leukoplakia of the mouth, which is a diffuse thickening mucous palate (whitish plaque with multiple red dots - the mouths of the ducts of the salivary glands). She rarely undergoes malignant degeneration and disappears when the patient quits smoking.

Symptoms of a leukoplakia of an oral cavity

When there is leukoplakia of the oral mucosa, specific symptoms depend on the form of the disease. This is a typical and atypical leukoplakia. In some cases, it is invisible to patients and is found by chance, in others - patients complain of burning, roughness, tightness of the mucosa in some one or more areas, rarely pain.

The main symptoms of initial stage leukoplasia include:

  1. The appearance of inflammatory foci characterized by swelling on the inner surface of the cheeks, palate, lips or in the tongue, it can also appear in the corners or on the lips;
  2. Formation on the site of inflammation of pathological areas of the epithelium - keratinized, white or gray-white, raised and dense;
  3. Friable plaque on keratinized areas, which is easily scraped off.

At this stage, the disease very often passes without any significant symptoms. Sometimes the patient notices that swollen areas interfere with his mouth, but this happens rarely. In addition, keratinization can occur sideways in the language or even under it, which will be invisible in the mirror. Namely, it is the most dangerous language, because in most cases it leads to oncology

When leukoplakia of the oral cavity becomes malignant, that is, a cancerous form, then the following symptoms appear:

  1. Erosion in the field of seals,
  2. Bleeding of lesions,
  3. Papillary growths on mucous membranes affected by the disease,
  4. Strong thickening and thickening of the affected tissues,
  5. Rapid proliferation of lesions.

Usually leukoplakia is a sluggish pathology, its symptoms then abate, then grow over many years. But nevertheless, leukoplakia does not accept the reverse development; with time the area of ​​damage increases, cracks and ulceration appear, plaques become brown and become denser.

This degeneration is an unfavorable sign and is regarded as a precancerous condition or the onset of degeneration into a cancerous disease of the oral mucosa. The exact time period for which leukoplakia changes into malignant formation can not actually be determined, because this is a strictly individual process.

Leukoplakia of the mouth: photo

How does this disease look like you can see in the presented photos.


There are several forms of the disease, on which the main symptoms and methods of treatment depend:

  1. Flat leukoplakiaIs the most common form of the disease that occurs with unexpressed symptomatology. The patient complains only of the increased dryness of the mucosa, the symptoms of tightness of the lips, cheeks.
  2. Leipoplakia Tappeiner- occurs in smokers with a long history, accompanied by red foci of inflammation, covered with white coating.
  3. Verruccal- there is a progressive keratinization, there is a high probability of transition to a malignant process.
  4. Erosive- the main cause is a chronic factor of trauma to the mucous membrane, mouths, bleeding are observed in the mouth.

On examination at the dentist, the doctor performs a visual assessment of the affected areas, followed by differential diagnosis. An obligatory stage of diagnosis will be an HIV test and a consultation with an immunologist to assess the protective mechanism.

Treatment of leukoplakia of the oral cavity

For any form and location of the leukoplakia of the oral cavity complex treatment is required. First of all, the factors that could provoke the disease must be eliminated. You should stop smoking and metal dentures, eliminate the lack of vitamin A.

In addition, when treating leukoplakia of the oral cavity, it is necessary to undergo a full medical examination to identify additional diseases that could have caused the disease. These include disorders of the thyroid gland, pathology of the gastrointestinal tract, diabetes mellitus, nervous system disorders, etc.

If the disease does not observe cellular atypia (simple leukoplakia), then no additional treatment is prescribed. Patients are only recommended to undergo a regular examination with specialists. If histological studies reveal cellular atypia, the treatment of leukoplakia of the oral cavity involves removal of the focus of the disease in the very near future by operational methods.

Since the disease threatens the degeneration of leukoplakia of the oral mucosa into a malignant form, it is absolutely necessary to treat it. And do it yourself at home is strictly not recommended.

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