Posted .

What is leukoplakia?

Thick, white or gray patches which develop inside the mouth.

How does leukoplakia develop?

These patches develop from excess cell growth caused by irritation to oral tissues.

Are leukoplakia patches painful?

Yes, leukoplakia patches can be painful.

I have patches that are furry? Is that normal?

This is a type of leukoplakia called hairy leukoplakia. It is normally seen in individuals with a weak immune system due to medications or disease (often HIV/AIDS).

Can leukoplakia patches become cancerous?

Leukoplakia patches are rarely cancerous. However, they can be an early sign of oral cancer, which often develops near leukoplakia patches.

Should I see a dentist about my leukoplakia?

If the leukoplakia patches have not gone away after two weeks, the mouth shows persistent changes, or you develop lumps inside your mouth, then you should see your dentist about your leukoplakia. These signs could indicate a more serious condition.

What causes leukoplakia patches?

The irritant that most often causes leukoplakia is tobacco use. It has also been found that poorly fitting dentures, the habit on chewing on the cheek, and rough spots on teeth or crowns can also cause leukoplakia.

How can I get rid of leukoplakia patches?

These patches cannot be scraped off. Often getting rid of the source of the problem (such as quitting tobacco use) gets rid of leukoplakia. If doing so doesn’t work, then the patches may need removal through a biopsy.