Leukoplakia in the mouth that lasts more than two weeks may be a sign of cancer

Like the rest of our body, the mouth requires care to stay healthy. Regular brushing, flossing, and even tongue scraping are some ways to prevent certain problems. However, some changes in the mouth can be caused by something serious.

With that in mind, dental surgeon Dr Nilesh Parmar told about some of the mouth signs to watch out for.

One of these signs is leukoplakia – white spots in the mouth.

They can appear on the tongue, inside the cheeks, and even on the gums.

Dr. Parmar said it could be a symptom of oral cancer, also known as oral cancer.

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He explained: “White lesions that persist in the mouth for more than two weeks should always be examined.

“It could be from trauma, like rubbing your tongue against a sharp tooth, or something more serious, like oral cancer.

“It is much more common in smokers and alcoholics, and if detected early, it can be treated and the patient will be successfully treated.”

According to the NHS, these patches are:

  • Not painful
  • Have an irregular shape
  • slightly raised
  • May be slightly red inside the patch
  • Do not wash or scrape off (areas that can be removed could be oral thrush).
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“If you have leukoplakia, there is a small risk that over time it can develop into oral cancer,” the health service warns.

“That’s why it’s important to see a dentist or therapist if you have a white coating in your mouth.”

He also advises seeking medical attention if the patch is there for more than two weeks.

If your doctor has concerns about a patch, they may recommend removing it.

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The NHS says: “Treatment for leukoplakia is not always required, but you will have regular checkups to make sure the patch is not getting bigger.

“Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the patch if there is a risk that it could become cancerous.

“This can be done while the area is numb (local anesthesia) or while you are sleeping (general anesthesia).

“The patch can be removed in several ways, including using a laser or a surgical scalpel. After that, your mouth should heal quickly.”

One of the main causes of leukoplakia and oral cancer is smoking.

Other ways to reduce your risk include:

  • Care of teeth and gums
  • Regular dental checkups
  • If you wear dentures, make sure they fit.
  • A balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Do not drink more than the recommended amount.

Oral cancer can also show up:

  • Painful mouth sores that do not heal for several weeks.
  • Unexplained persistent lumps in the mouth or neck that don’t go away
  • Unexplained loosening of teeth or sockets that do not heal after extraction
  • Unexplained, persistent numbness or strange sensation on the lip or tongue
  • Red spots on the mucous membrane of the mouth or tongue
  • Changes in speech such as lisp.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your general practitioner.

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