Leukoplakia

Etiology
  • Leukoplakia can essentially be thought of as a precancerous lesion of the oral mucosa resulting from chronic insult to the tissue. Leukoplakia might be visually confused with oral candidiasis; however the lesion of leukoplakia cannot be scrapped off. Leukoplakia also sounds similar to Hairy Leukoplakia; however, these diseases have distinct etiologies.
Morphology
  • Gross Appearnce: Appears as a discrete whitish plaque occurring anywhere on the oral mucosa that cannot be scraped off.
  • Histological Appearance: Ranges from hyperkeratosis all the way to lesions containing significant dysplasia just short of carcinoma in situ.
Incidence
  • Tends to occur in men with a history of smoking, alcohol abuse, or some other irritant of the oral mucosa such as poorly-fitting dentures.
Clinical Consequences
  • Frequently benign but carries the risk of developing into oral cancer.