Leukoplakia is a dental sickness where thick, white areas form on the gums, the insides of the cheeks and the bottom of the mouth. They cannot be rubbed away, and they can sometimes be cancerous. Although some do not agree as to the cause behind the growth of leukoplakia, lots of dentists think that tobacco plays a vital role, so if you chew or smoke tobacco, you might be vulnerable to forming leukoplakia. You could also be at risk for leukoplakia if you have a weak immune system.
While it’s correct that some forms of leukoplakia can be cancerous, most areas are benign. Fortunately, we do an oral cancer screening for you during every one of your visits, so we’ll keep an eye on your mouth and let you know if we see anything suspicious. At home, you can look at the gummy and soft-tissue areas of your mouth for the white, thick areas; please tell us about it if you notice anything you cannot scrape away. Other symptoms of leukoplakia include pain when swallowing and a reduced ability to open your jaw.
If you think you might have leukoplakia, don’t delay in setting up your next checkup with our office in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Dr. Paul R. Stanovick and the staff at Paul R. Stanovick, DDS will do all they can to help you keep your oral cavity healthy. Give us a call now at 804-781-1919 to set up your appointment.