What is it?
Leukoplakia is a white lesion of the mouth mucosa, not associated with trauma or infections, which is potentially malignant and affects 3% of the global population.

How is it manifest?
There are two forms of Leukoplakia:
  • Homogeneous leukoplakia: white lesions consistent in colour and texture throughout the lesion; they can be thin, smooth, translucent or shiny; in any region of the mouth.
  • Non-homogeneous leukoplakia: white or white and red lesions, with different consistency and texture throughout the lesion; may be warty, mottled, nodular, or granular; in any region of the mouth.
What is the treatment for leukoplakia?
According to the new 2019 guidelines, the treatment includes:
  • Elimination of individual risk factors: for example, quitting smoking.
  • Lesion excision, guided by innovative auxiliary techniques, to assess the true extent of the lesion and eliminate all affected cells.
  • Regular follow-up and “forever” in an Oral Medicine consultation.

What is the potential of turning into cancer?
The overall risk of a leukoplakia turning into cancer is 1-2%.
In certain situations, this rate can reach levels of 60-80%.

The risk will depend on several factors: the type of leukoplakia, whether it presents dysplasia or not, the size of the leukoplakia, whether there are multiple leukoplakia spread through the mouth, whether the individual has interrupted risky habits (such as smoking), among others.

What is innovative about us?
At Instituto Português da Face, one of our great pillars is Excellence in Medicine, and it is for this reason, to our great satisfaction, that we have one of the most innovative techniques for the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of Leukoplasia in Oral Medicine: Contact Endoscopy.

Medicine evolves, and the Physician must update and evolve with Medicine. Currently, according to the new Leukoplakia guidelines, this should be evaluated with clinical and histopathological examination, through innovative optical diagnostic aids, which should be adjuvants.

If you notice a white lesion in your mouth and you don't know what it means, or if you've been told “it was nothing” but you're still uncomfortable and doubtful, don't hesitate to contact us for an Oral Medicine evaluation.