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What causes leukoplakia?

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Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 5709 Questions
Dr. Mintz, My son, 33, has been referred to an eyes,ear, nose , throat doc but I would like you to look at a picture if I can email it to you. I just don't want to worry all weekend. ER Doc was baffled by it.
Posted Fri, 14 Feb 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Dadapeer K 2 hours later
Brief Answer: This is leukoplakia. Detailed Answer: Hello Welcome to Health Care Magic Iam Dr. Dadapeer K, an Opthalmologist and I answer health problems related to eye. I went through the photo which you have sent. This is leukoplakia, a white patch on the tongue. This is a common condition seen in clinical practice and the common causes to be considered are Chronic irritation caused by irregular tooth edges, spicy food Deficiency of Vitamins like Vitamin B and C Immunodeficiency Viral infections like Herpes simplex virus Alcohol, smoking, chewing of tobacco... Fungal infections like candidiasis Most of the lesions stay for 2-3 weeks and resolve once the source of irritation is removed. The lesions persisting for more than 2-3 weeks require examination. The examination is important because about 2% of them may represent precancerous lesions. The examination is a small biopsy done by a ENT surgeon or a dentist or a oral pathologist to find out the type and underlying cause. You need to worry for this as this condition is common in clinical practice and the most common cause is chronic irritation. However other conditions as I have mentioned above needs to ruled out particularly when the lesion is persisting for a long time Hence I advice you to consult ENT surgeon or a dentist or a oral pathologist for further examination and treatment accordingly. Hope the information is helpful to you. Thank you
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Follow-up: What causes leukoplakia? 17 minutes later
You said that I need to worry but I think you mean I don't need to worry. Is that right?
Answered by Dr. Dadapeer K 1 hour later
Brief Answer: I meant not to worry all weekend. Detailed Answer: Hello Thank you for the follow up I meant to say you need not worry all weekend. The condition does not appear to be an emergency hence I advice to get consultation in the week beginning when the specialist doctor is available. Though most of the times the condition can be benign not requiring any treatment, resolving on its own. But this compulsorily requires evaluation by a specialist to rule out the precancerous lesion, immunodeficiency associated lesions as I had mentioned in the last answer. Hope I have answered your query and the information is helpful to you. Thank you
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