Leukoplakia is defined a white plaque of questionable risk having excluded (other) known diseases or disorders that carry no increased risk for cancer. Though only 2% of the world population show presence of this lesion, the malignant transformation of oral leukoplakia to oral cancer is 20 per 100000 populations per year.
- Smoking: Oral leukoplakia is seen six time more in smokers than nonsmokers.
- Smokeless tobacco
- Alcohol: It is an independent risk factor regardless the type of beverage and pattern of drinking.
- Candida albicans: role of it still unclear
- Human Papillomavirus Infection: Though the results of studies conducted are conflicting.
- Clinically classified into two types: Homogenous & Non Homogenous
- Homogenous Leukoplakia appears as uniformly flat, thin and exhibit shallow cracks of the surface keratin.
- Non Homogenous Leukoplakia appears in various forms such as speckled (mixed red & white with predominant white areas), nodular ( small polypoid outgrowth rounded red or white excrescences), verrucous (wrinkled or corrugated surface appearance).
- Age group: usually occurs after 30 years with peak incidence in 50 years.
- Seen more in males. Proliferative verrucous leukoplakia a type of non homogenous appears more commonly in females.
- Can involve any of oral and oropharyngeal sites
- Seen unilaterally however can be observed bilaterally in some cases
- Pain and discomfort can be present. Most of the time it might go unnoticed.
- Removal of the cause
- Pharmacological management
- In some cases of leukoplakia it desirable to get a biopsy followed by histopathological reviewing done to notice if any
malignant changes are happening within.
- Surgical management
- Periodic follow up a must.