Leukoplakia

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leukoplakia

[‚lü·kō′plā·kē·ə]
(medicine)
Formation of thickened white patches on mucous membranes, particularly of the mouth and vulva.

Leukoplakia

 

milky-white spots (radius, to 0.5 cm) on the mucous membranes near the skin (for example, on the lower lip) and on the cheeks, tongue, bottom of the mouth, esophagus, cervix uteri, vagina, and urinary bladder.

Leukoplakia is one of the precancerous diseases. Smoking, advanced tooth decay, excessive consumption of alcohol or spices, certain inflammations of the oral cavity, avitaminosis A or B complex, and poorly fitting metal dental bridges, fillings, and crowns may give rise to leukoplakia. The disease occurs in two forms. In simple leukoplakia, the mucous membrane is smooth; its surface resembles mosaic or parquetry. This may be complicated by fissures or erosions. In verrucose leukoplakia, the mucosa is raised and the color varies from pearly to chalky. Patients complain of sensations of petrifaction, burning, and tenderness. Treatment is by surgical removal, electrocoagulation, or radiation therapy.

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