Leukoplakia is the medical term for a condition, where white thick patches develop on the bottom of the mouth, inner cheeks or the tongue. This is generally regarded as a condition prior to cancer, as nearly 3% of patches on the body generally prove to end up cancerous. Most often, oral cancer springs up near these patches.
The most common type of oral cancer is “Squamous cell carcinoma”. This could lead to disastrous results on the tissues surrounding the area if neglected. It could easily spread to other areas of the body aggressively.
There could be several reasons attributed for reaching this condition. Rough teeth, improper dentures, poor oral hygiene and continuous use of tobacco contribute to the causes. Leukoplakia is commonly prevalent in older people after the age of 40, as they develop nearly 95% of oral cancers during this period. Patients who are HIV positive or those who develop Epstein – Barr virus along with others can develop this disease. This is also true for patients after transplants who take immune-suppressants, as they end up with compromised immune systems.
Leukoplakia is the direct result of improper oral hygiene. It is necessary to look after the mouth, as failure to care can lead to Periodontitis or Gingivitis. Statistics and research prove that people suffering from Periodontitis could easily be linked to developing oral cancer. Any infection that occurs in the mouth makes it highly susceptible to developing the disease.
Dentists are of the opinion that one can easily prevent periodontitis. Regular brushing of the teeth and flossing will prevent this condition from occurring. This, combined with checkups regularly, will help to avoid the risk of severe dental issues from surfacing.
Visit the dentist regularly and check for occurrences of Leukoplakia. Just like with other cancers, a patient can survive the condition if it is detected in the early stages. A dentist will perform a biopsy, if he detects any white patches and send a sample of these deadly white tissues for chemical analysis and microscopic studies. The results of the biopsy will indicate the seriousness of the case and the dentist can decide the immediate treatment for preventing the development of further metastasis.
The appearance of patches itself can be arrested by regular checkups. The dentist is able to treat the problem, as they generally occur because of improper oral hygiene. The dentist can take corrective measures by prescribing new dentures, removing or repairing, damaged rough teeth, plaque or tartar to reduce the chances of developing this condition.
If the patient notices strange patches in the mouth in between health checkups, they should notify their dentist immediately so that he can evaluate the case. It is entirely possible that the patient has contracted thrush or a yeast infection, which also manifests itself in white patches. The dentist will arrest the problem if detected in the early stages, hence even conditions such as thrush should be brought to the dentist’s notice immediately.
It is advantageous to prevent problems, such as Leukoplakia from developing, even though it could be benign for the most part. Regular dentist checkups and excellent oral care will reduce the chances of a patient contracting this condition and turning malignant.