One of the services Oral Surgery Consultants of Pennsylvania provides is biopsies for leukoplakia. If you’ve been referred to us for an excision, you probably already have some idea of what that means. But if you’ve just noticed a white spot on the soft tissue of your mouth that won’t go away, we want you to understand why it’s important to get that examined and what your next steps might be.
Leukoplakia is the development of a thick white lesion on the gums, tongue, or inside of the cheek in response to prolonged irritation. It is not necessarily cancerous, but it might be, especially when the lesion is irregularly shaped and accompanied by red spots. Leukoplakia most often develops in response to the use of tobacco and alcohol products, but it can also result from poorly fitted dentures or bridges rubbing against soft tissues. Sometimes a dentist might send a patient to our oral surgery office to have the lesion removed and analysed. A lesion might also be caused by a viral infection in a person with a weakened immune system.
Leukoplakia lesions will usually disappear when the source of irritation is removed. That may require a patient to stop smoking or to cut back on alcohol. We can refit patients’ prosthetic devices and determine whether their other teeth are likely to cause irritation in the future. People with leukoplakia-related viruses are likely to be prescribed medication, but non-cancerous leukoplakia is unlikely to be painful.
Oral Surgery Consultants of Pennsylvania operate in Philadelphia, Folsom, and Clifton Heights. Visit Oral Surgery PA.