Posted .

Leukoplakia are thick, white patches which develop on the inside of your mouth. Here are 10 things you need to know about leukoplakia.

  1. Leukoplakia is caused when the oral tissues become aggravated, resulting in excessive cell growth.
  2. Leukoplakia patches can be painful.
  3. These patches cannot be scraped off.
  4. If the patches are fuzzy or have ridges, they may be hairy leukoplakia. This type of leukoplakia affects those with a weakened immune system due to medication or illness (HIV/AIDS in particular).
  5. The patches caused by leukoplakia are generally non-cancerous. However, oral cancer is associated with leukoplakia and often grows near its patches.
  6. Tobacco is the most common cause of leukoplakia, whether it is smoked or chewed.
  7. Leukoplakia patches can go away on their own, especially if the source of them (tobacco use, poorly-fitted dentures, rough spots on teeth) is removed.
  8. A dentist can remove leukoplakia patches using a laser, scalpel, or cryoprobe.
  9. It is best to treat leukoplakia early on, while the patches are small.
  10. If the leukoplakia has been in your mouth for more than two weeks or if there are several other changes occurring in your mouth, then see your dentist as soon as possible because these signs can indicate more serious conditions.