You may be able to prevent leukoplakia if you avoid all tobacco products or alcohol use. Talk to your doctor about methods to help you quit. If you continue to smoke or chew tobacco or drink alcohol, have frequent dental checkups. Oral cancers are usually painless until fairly advanced, so quitting tobacco and alcohol is a better prevention strategy.
If you have a weakened immune system, you may not be able to prevent hairy leukoplakia, but identifying it early can help you receive appropriate treatment.
May 17, 2017
- Leukoplakia. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/6897/leukoplakia. Accessed April 10, 2017.
- Goldstein BG, et al. Oral lesions. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 10, 2017.
- Sullivan JL. Clinical manifestations and treatment of Epstein-Barr virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 10, 2017.
- Lodi G, et al. Interventions for treating oral leukoplakia to prevent oral cancer (Review). Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews. http://ovidsp.tx.ovid.com/sp-3.24.1b/ovidweb.cgi?&S=OEPBFPAAJJDDEBDJNCHKEEOBALIJAA00&Link+Set=S.sh.19%7c4%7csl_50. Accessed April 10, 2017.
- Kayalvizhi EB, et al. Oral leukoplakia: A review and its update. Journal of Medicine, Radiology, Pathology and Surgery. 2016;2:18.
- Saxena A, et al. Leukoplakia: The verrucous varieties. International Journal of Stomatology and Occlusion Medicine. 2016;8:S10.
- Detecting oral cancer: A guide for health care professionals. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/OralCancer/DetectingOralCancer.htm#. Accessed April 12, 2017.
- Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 18, 2017.