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Leukoplakia (loo-koh-PLAY-key-uh) forms thickened white patches on your gums, the inside of your cheeks, the bottom of your mouth, and sometimes your tongue. These patches cannot be scratched off.
Doctors don’t know what causes leukoplakia, but consider chronic irritation from tobacco – whether smoked, drenched, or chewed – as the main culprit in its development.
Most leukoplakia patches are not cancerous (benign), although some show early signs of cancer. Cancer at the bottom of the mouth can appear next to areas of leukoplakia. And white areas mixed with red areas (speckled leukoplakia) can indicate potential cancer. It is therefore best to see your dentist or health care professional if you have any unusual and persistent changes in your mouth. Leukoplakia Treatment in Hyderabad
Leukoplakia usually occurs on your gums, the inside of your cheeks, the bottom of your mouth – under your tongue – and sometimes on your tongue. It is usually not painful and can go unnoticed for some time.
Leukoplakia can occur:
- White or gray in places that cannot be wiped off
- Irregular or flat texture
- Thickened or hardened in areas
- With raised red lesions (speckled leukoplakia or erythroplakia) that are more likely to have precancerous changes
Although the cause of leukoplakia is unknown, chronic irritation such as smoking, including smoking and chewing, appears to be responsible for most of the cases. Regular smokeless tobacco users often develop leukoplakia in which they hold the tobacco against their cheeks.
Other causes may include chronic irritation due to:
- Jagged, broken, or sharp teeth rub against the surfaces of the tongue
- Defective or poorly fitting dentures
- Long-term alcohol consumption
The use of tobacco, especially smokeless tobacco, carries a high risk of leukoplakia and oral cancer. Long-term alcohol consumption increases your risk, and alcohol consumption in combination with smoking increases your risk even more.
People living with HIV / AIDS are particularly prone to developing hairy leukoplakia. Although the use of antiretroviral drugs has reduced the number of cases, hairy leukoplakia still affects a number of people with HIV and can be one of the first signs of HIV infection. Leukoplakia Treatment in Hyderabad
Leukoplakia does not usually cause permanent damage to the tissues in the mouth. However, leukoplakia increases your risk of oral cancer. Oral cancer often forms near the plaques of leukoplakia, and the plaques themselves can have cancerous changes. Even after removing the leukoplakia patch, the risk of oral cancer remains.
You may be able to prevent leukoplakia if you avoid all tobacco products or alcohol consumption. Talk to your doctor about ways you can stop. If you continue to smoke, chew tobacco, or drink alcohol, get regular dental checkups. Oral cancer is usually painless until it progresses well. Hence, a better prevention strategy is to stop smoking and drink alcohol. Leukoplakia Treatment in Hyderabad