Leukoplakia is a dental disease where thick, white spots develop 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 there is no clear answer as to the true cause behind the advance of leukoplakia, numerous dentists believe that tobacco plays a key role, so if you chew, dip or smoke tobacco, you are perhaps susceptible to developing leukoplakia. You could also be vulnerable to leukoplakia if you have a weak immune system.
While it’s correct that a few types 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 check the gummy and soft-tissue areas of your mouth for the white, thick spots; please tell us about it if you notice anything you cannot wear away. Other symptoms of leukoplakia include pain when swallowing and a reduced ability to open your jaw.
If you think you may have leukoplakia, don’t delay in setting up your next visit with our office in Gilbert, Arizona. Dr. Sheldon Sullivan and the staff at Artistry in Dentistry will do all they can to help you keep your mouth healthy. Give us a call at 602-492-9003 to pencil in your next appointment.