What is Leukoplakia?

The job of a dentist encompasses many functions, from performing routine exams to placing dental implants, Invisalign, and completing a wide variety of other treatment options that make mouths healthy and beautiful. Of these many roles, one of the more important jobs we have is to examine the mouth for signs of cancer. This is a part of every routine exam that occurs with cleanings and can happen during any treatment, as well.

We check for a variety of signs that a problem has emerged. One of the potential signs we find is thick white patches along the gum line, inside the cheeks, and around the bottom of the mouth and tongue area. Unfortunately, these spots can’t be easily scraped off.

While they can be warning signs for cancer, these white patches are often benign (non-cancerous). When we see red spots alongside the white patches, it might indicate a condition known as speckled leukoplakia.

Leukoplakia is often caused by the use of tobacco products that result in chronic irritation to the mouth. While the presence of leukoplakia isn’t always cancerous and generally doesn’t cause permanent damage, it does increase the risk of oral cancer.

If you have any questions about your dental health or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.

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