Leukoplakia appears as thick, white patches or lesions within your mouth - typically on gums and inside the cheek. These patches usually develop in the mouth of smokers or tobacco users.
Although leukoplakia isn’t dangerous, it could be an early sign of mouth cancer. Many cancers of the mouth occur next to areas of leukoplakia, so it’s always best to visit your dentist when you have unusual, persistent changes, discolourations or sores in your mouth.
The sores can vary in appearance. They may appear as:
Another form of leukoplakia, oral hairy leukoplakia, creates fuzzy white patches similar to oral thrush. Oral hairy leukoplakia results from an infection with the Epstein-Barr virus, which remains in the body for your lifetime. Although normally dormant, the virus can be activated (or reactivated) when your immune system is weakened, either from disease or certain medications.
People with HIV/AIDS are more likely to develop oral hairy leukoplakia. As many as 25 per cent of HIV-positive people are affected by oral hairy leukoplakia, according to Johns Hopkins. It may even be one of the first signs of HIV infection.
Oftentimes, you can prevent this condition by:
If you recognize any signs or symptoms of leukoplakia in your mouth, book an appointment with one of our dentists at Dental Image Therapy Centres so you can start getting treatment for the condition. We’re conveniently located at St. Vital Centre and Garden City Shopping Centre.
Maybe it's time for your and your family's regular checkup and cleaning, you have a toothache or you need to get your treatment plan going - whatever the reason, we're here to help you get your confident smile. Whether you're a new patient or a returning friend, we can't wait to see you at your next appointment at either of our Winnipeg clinics!Book Now