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Leukoplakia, Oral

Kathya M. Chartre, MD Reviewed 06/2020
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Oral leukoplakia refers to white plaque or patches on the oral mucosa, that can undergo a malignant transformation over time.

  • System(s) affected: gastrointestinal

  • Hyperplasia of squamo...

DIAGNOSIS

Leukoplakia is an asymptomatic white patch on the oral mucosa. 

HISTORY

  • Usually asymptomatic

  • History of tobacco or alcohol use or oral exposure to irritants

PHYSICAL EXAM

  • Location

    • 50% on tongue, m...

TREATMENT

  • All oral leukoplakias should be treated because they are potentially malignant.

  • Treatment may include the following:

    • For 2 to 3 circumscribed lesions, surgical excision is treatment of choice ...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

  • Regular, close follow-up, even after successful treatment

  • Biopsy as needed

DIET

Regular 

PATIENT EDUCATION

  • If biopsy is negative, stress importance o...

REFERENCES

1
Nadeau C, Kerr A. Evaluation and management of oral potentially malignant disorders. Dent Clin North Am.  2018;62(1):1–27.
2
Villa A, Woo SB. Leukoplakia—a diagnostic and management alg...

ADDITIONAL READING

Reamy BV, Derby R, Bunt CW. Common tongue conditions in primary care. Am Fam Physician.  2010;81(5):627–634. 

SEE ALSO

HIV/AIDS; Infectious Mononucleosis, Epstein-Barr Virus Infe...

CODES

ICD10

  • K13.21 Leukoplakia of oral mucosa, including tongue

  • K13.3 Hairy leukoplakia

ICD9

528.6 Leukoplakia of oral mucosa, including tongue 

SNOMED

  • 414603003 Leukoplakia of oral mucosa

  • 414952002 oral hai...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • White plaque or patches on the oral mucosa that cannot be rubbed or easily scrapped off

  • Excisional biopsy is indicated for any undiagnosed leukoplakia.

  • After treatment, up to 30% of leuk...

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