Leukoplakia Treatment: What is Leukoplakia and Why Vigilance is Important?

Can you see thick, white, gray patches in your mouth? It can lead to oral cancer. Visit Peace of Mind Dental Studio in Chandler, AZ, and protect yourself.

What is Leukoplakia?

Your tongue and insides of the mouth are pink in color. Anything unusual is a signal from your body that something is wrong.

One of these symptoms is leukoplakia, which declares itself as white, red, or gray smooth, flat, or lumpy surfaces on your tongue, the insides of your cheeks, or on the floor of your mouth. They don’t hurt but can indicate a possible infection or disease.

So, if you also suffer from the condition, it’s time to see the doctor.

Causes of Oral Leukoplakia

Leukoplakia can be caused due to multiple reasons, some of which are listed here:

  • Tobacco, whether you chew it, pipe it or smoke it.
  • Something is constantly irritating your mouth.
  • In the case of hairy leukoplakia, it’s the Epstein-Barr virus.
  • Heavy alcohol use for a prolonged period.
  • A weak immune system (HIV/AIDS patients are highly susceptible)
  • Use of dental equipment such as dental braces or dentures

Even doctors can’t point out the exact cause of this problem, but if you see these white, gray, or red patches, you are advised not to overlook them, as leukoplakia often leads to oral cancer.

Types of Leukoplakia

There are different types of leukoplakia that can affect your oral health. The best weapon against fighting it is learning about the problem so you can book an appointment with us as soon as possible.

  • Homogenous Leukoplakia: The name is self-explanatory, but here you go.

    If you suffer from homogenous leukoplakia, you will see even, similar-colored patches. They are even in texture, color, and size. Usually, homogenous leukoplakia doesn’t lead to oral cancer, but still, be careful if you see any such growth in your mouth.

  • Non-Homogenous Leukoplakia: As you can understand, non-homogenous leukoplakia causes uneven patches in color, texture, and size. This type of growth can lead to oral cancer.
  • Hairy Leukoplakia: People who have weak immunity or are suffering from chronic immunity diseases such as HIV/ AIDS fall prey to this type. It is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes white and fuzzy patches to appear inside your mouth.
  • PVL or Proliferative Verrucous Leukoplakia: PVL can be considered the most dangerous leukoplakia type, as 60% of the patients who suffer from PVL fall prey to oral cancer. This type causes small, white, and lumpy patches.


How To Know If You Have Leukoplakia?

Most often, thrush is mistaken for leukoplakia, as both oral problems look quite similar. Thrush is caused by candida virus and is a fungal infection. However, it can be wiped off; leukoplakia, on the other hand, can’t be.

If you see:

  • White, red, or gray spots
  • Even or uneven
  • Flat, lumpy, fuzzy, or smooth spots

Then, try to wipe it off; if the spots don’t come off, it is leukoplakia and needs professional intervention.

While you're familiarizing yourself with this procedure, make sure you also visit our section on how we treat you during your care with a range of nice-to-have and need-to-have patient comforts.


Distraction Methods       –     Therapeutic interventions   –     Pain management 

How Does Peace of Mind Dental Studio Help?

If you believe you have Leukoplakia, then you are advised to call us at Peace of Mind Dental Studio and book an appointment so we can have a look at the problem before it escalates into a malignancy.

  • Diagnosis: To diagnose your problem, we need to examine your mouth and the spots. It is recommended that you be transparent with your dentist about your habits, lifestyle, and other factors that might contribute to leukoplakia. As smoking and drinking are the common culprits behind leukoplakia, people who engage in these habits are most likely to suffer due to these habits. If you have dentures or you use other dental equipment, it might also cause the issue.

    For diagnosis, a biopsy is also recommended. A tissue from the spot is taken for the biopsy.

There are two types of biopsies to identify if it is leukoplakia.

  • Oral Brush Biopsy: This is a noninvasive procedure wherein the oral tissue is taken with a spinning brush.
  • Excisional Biopsy: This type of biopsy requires surgical removal of the whole patch.

Treatment of Leukoplakia

There are multiple ways to treat leukoplakia. It is advised to go through them once so you can choose the treatment method that suits you best.

  • Surgical Removal: The most common method to remove leukoplakia is surgical removal of patches with a scalpel. Anesthesia is administered, and the patches are removed one by one.
  • Laser Therapy: A low-powered laser beam is used to destroy the tissue which causes leukoplakia.
  • Cryotherapy: In cryotherapy, the tissues are frozen to a temperature where the cells become dormant and die, and the patches are removed.
  • Photodynamic Therapy: Photodynamic therapy includes using light-activated cancer drugs to prevent such patches from forming.

Why Peace of Mind Dental Studio?

Because you deserve peace of mind. Any unusual sightings in your mouth affect your peace of mind adversely and make you wonder if it is dangerous. You can feel confident that you are in good hands when you make an appointment with Peace of Mind Dental Studio, as Dr. Silverman is the expert Dentist in Chandler that you can trust.

We aim to offer you the best treatment in town without compromising your comfort. We understand your anxiety and, thus, ensure that you feel safe in the dentist’s chair, which most people don’t experience.

If you have any dental issues, do not hesitate to call us at Peace of Mind Dental Studio.


answering your questions about leukoplakia treatment…  

Can leukoplakia recur after treatment?
Yes, it can recur if the patient keeps indulging in activities that irritate the mouth, such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and poor oral hygiene.
How to prevent leukoplakia?

The reason behind leukoplakia is continual irritation and trauma in the mouth. To prevent leukoplakia, you must:

  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Address reasons for trauma and irritation, such as ill-fitting dental appliances.
  • Limit tobacco use.
  • Indulge in good oral hygiene.
Is leukoplakia cancerous?
It is not cancerous in all cases, but certain types can be malignant if not addressed in time. Consult Peace of Mind Dental Studio today and let our experts diagnose the problem before it escalates.

Have more questions? Please call us at 480-608-5444 or email us and we’ll be able to talk you through the process.

Tips & advice from Dr. Silverman:


Do distractions in the dental chair cause you more unease?

It is absolutely okay to feel this way, just please let us know and we will make sure to limit our patient comforts that are particularly distracting.  Some patients do not prefer to wear noise canceling headphones or have the ceiling mounted TVs on during treatment or wear. We want you to be comfortable and are here to accommodate to your preferences.

For more advice, visit our faq page