One of four common types of sores in the mouth, leukoplakia is characterized by “thick, whitish-color patches that form on the inside of the cheeks, gums or tongue” (American Dental Association). The patches are essentially a growth of excess cells and are common among people who use tobacco. Other causes include habitual chewing of the cheek or improperly fitting dentures or orthodontia. In rare cases, leukoplakia can be a sign of oral cancer. Your dentist will examine the area and potentially biopsy it to check for more serious conditions. He or she can also provide encouragement for patients seeking to quit using tobacco and make arrangements to correct any improperly fitting mouthwear.
If you notice signs of leukoplakia, it is important to schedule an appointment with a dentist covered by your True Care Advantage discount dental plan. Your membership will help you save money at each appointment, enabling you to maintain excellent oral hygiene – and, as a result, excellent overall health.