Leukoplakia: disease of the mucous membrane in the mouth

Leukoplakia is a condition in which keratosis develops in the form of white spots on the mucous membranes in the mouth. This can occur throughout the digestive tract, but when it is located in the mouth, mainly on the inside of the cheek and the side of the tongue, we call it (oral) leukoplakia, which means something like ‘white spot’. The causes must be sought in smoking, use of alcohol and lack of fresh vegetables in the daily diet.

Leukoplakia in the mouth

  • Symptoms of leukoplakia
  • Cause of leukoplakia
  • Treatment of leukoplakia
  • Improve oral flora with Probio Oral


Symptoms of leukoplakia

If you suffer from white spots in the mouth, it could be leukoplakia. This must always be carefully monitored because it can be a precursor to cancer, although the percentage of cases in which the condition becomes malignant is less than 1%. The condition is often associated with smoking or the use of chewing tobacco, which also increases the risk of oral cancer. Its appearance can vary greatly from person to person. The following can be said about it:

  • It cannot be scraped off or rubbed off
  • It may cause pain or an unpleasant feeling, but this is not necessary
  • The spot may be white, yellowish white or gray
  • The spot is from a few square millimeters to a few square centimeters in size
  • It can occur on the inside of the cheeks, underside and side of the tongue and on the gums

The white spots on the inside of the cheek or side of the tongue are sometimes incorrectly associated with candida ( Candidiasis ) or lichen planus, where similar symptoms may occur. It is also sometimes wrongly confused with canker sores. Candida is a fungal infection (mycosis) caused by yeast-like fungi. In the case of Candida albicans in the mouth, a white rash is also visible. However, this is different and can be clearly distinguished by a doctor from leukoplakia.
Lichen planus is a skin condition involving a benign keratosis in the mouth, especially the buccal mucosa and the tongue. This condition is usually accompanied by other conditions that can be seen elsewhere on the body and this can also be easily distinguished from leukoplakia by a doctor.

Cause of leukoplakia

The exact cause of leukoplakia is unknown, but it is likely that a combination of factors play a role. Smoking or chewing tobacco is seen as the main cause. More than 80% of patients with leukoplakia are smokers. A link has also been found between how much someone smokes and how serious the leukoplakia is. Chewing betel pepper or Sirih is also associated with it.
Those who frequently use mouthwash with a high alcohol content sometimes also suffer from white spots in their mouth. However, unlike leukoplakia, these can easily be removed and are therefore not qualified as such. However, a specific form of keratosis can occur as a result of the use of sanguinaria, a herbal extract that is used in certain types of toothpaste.
Smoking or chewing tobacco, (excessive) use of alcohol, the presence of Candida albicans, human papilloma virus and a lack of fresh vegetables and fruit (containing vitamins A, B12, C, beta-carotene and folic acid) appear to be the main causes to be.

Treatment of leukoplakia

Treatment of leukoplakia is considered especially important because it can be a precursor to cancer. However, treatments aimed at removing the white spots in the mouth never stop the development of malignant cells. Whatever treatment method is chosen, a doctor’s advice will always be to stop doing whatever has caused the condition, such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption.
The approach is usually to first advise quitting smoking – which is the cause in over 80% of cases – and then monitor how the leukoplakia develops after this. Sometimes a biopsy will be taken to examine for malignant cell growth in a laboratory. If necessary, surgical removal of the white spots will be performed. This is usually done with a laser or by means of electrocautery or cryotherapy.

Improve oral flora with Probio Oral

What you can do is improve the oral flora through probiotics. A rinse that has been specially developed for this is Probio Oral. This rinse contains six types of lactobacilli that germinate during rinsing in the mouth. The contents of a sachet should be mixed with a layer of water and after rinsing it can simply be swallowed, as it also has a good effect in the intestines. Probio Oral is no guarantee of success against leukoplakia.
Probio Oral contains the cultures Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus casei. Probio Oral is available from the Bonusan brand.

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