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Leukoplakia is a dental ailment where thick, white patches fashion on the gums, the tongue, the insides of the cheeks and the bottom of the oral cavity. They cannot be scraped off, and they can sometimes be cancerous. Although there is no consensus as to the cause behind the onset of leukoplakia, a number of dentists think that tobacco irritation plays a vital role, so if you chew or smoke tobacco, you are perhaps vulnerable to developing leukoplakia. You could also be at risk for 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 oral cavity and let you know if we see anything suspicious. At home, you can inspect the gummy and soft-tissue areas of your mouth for the white, thick areas; please get in contact with us if you sense anything you cannot scrape away. Other symptoms of leukoplakia include uneasiness when swallowing and a reduced capacity to open your jaw.

If you think you may have leukoplakia, don’t delay in setting up your next appointment with our office in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. Dr. Kristen Langworthy and the team at Langworthy Family Dentistry will do all they can to help you keep your oral cavity healthy. Give us a call now at 919-762-3239 to pencil in your next appointment.