You'll likely start by seeing your primary care doctor or dentist. Some people with oral lichen planus also develop lichen planus on their skin. Depending on your symptoms, you may be referred to a specialist in skin diseases (dermatologist) or a specialist in gum and dental diseases (periodontist).
What you can do
To get ready for your appointment:
- Bring a copy of all previous consultations and tests you've had about this problem.
- Ask if there's anything you need to do before the appointment, such as restrict your diet.
- Make a list of any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to your sore mouth.
- Make a list of key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins, herbs or other supplements that you're taking, and the doses.
- Prepare questions to help make the most of your time with your doctor or dentist.
Some basic questions to ask include:
- What's likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- What are other possible causes?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- What's the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there any printed materials that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor or dentist is likely to ask you several questions. Be ready to answer them so you can focus on points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor or dentist may ask:
- When did the lesions or sores appear in your mouth?
- Have you found lesions anywhere else on your body?
- Do you feel any pain, burning sensations or other discomfort in your mouth?
- How would you describe the severity of the pain or discomfort?
- Have you recently started taking new medications?
- Do you take vitamins, herbs, other dietary supplements or nonprescription medicines?
- Do you have any allergies?
- Have you experienced any new or unusual stresses in your life?
- What other health conditions do you have?
March 12, 2016
- Lichen planus. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic-disorders/psoriasis-and-scaling-diseases/lichen-planus. Accessed Feb. 5, 2016.
- Oral lichen planus. American Academy of Oral Medicine. http://www.aaom.com/oral-lichen-planus. Accessed Feb. 5, 2016.
- AskMayoExpert. Oral lichen planus. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Lichen planus. British Dental Health Foundation. https://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/mouth-conditions/lichen-planus. Accessed Feb. 5, 2016.
- Lichen planus. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/rashes/lichen-planus. Accessed Feb. 5, 2016.
- Shirasuna K. Oral lichen planus: Malignant potential and diagnosis. Oral Science International. 2014;11:1.
- Au J, et al. Oral lichen planus. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinics of North America. 2013;25:93.
- Mirowski GW, et al. Oral lichen planus: Pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 5, 2016.
- Mirowski GW, et al. Oral lichen planus: Management and prognosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 5, 2016.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 16, 2016.