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Smoking and Leukoplakia


Leukoplakia: A Brief

Leukoplakia is a medical condition that results in the occurrence of white patches inside the mouth or tongue, especially in the mucous membranes inside the mouth. Though the exact cause of Leukoplakia has not been evaluated yet a whole array of factors, mainly smoking, betel chewing, alcohol intake et al are identified as risk factors that can account for Leukoplakia.

Key Symptoms of Leukoplakia 

  • Definite patches inside the mouth or tongue having wrinkled feature and hardened surface.
  • The white patches occurring on account of Leukoplakia later develop into gray or gray-white colored sores.

Smoking and Leukoplakia 

Among all the factors found responsible for Leukoplakia, smoking is one of the most prevalent causes. Addiction to smoking pushes individuals to the threshold of a plethora of diseases and disorders such as cardiovascular ailments, thyroid diseases, erectile dysfunction etc and in addition to all these disorders, cigarette smoking, tobacco chewing, hookah smoking et al are likely to induce Leukoplakia as well in individuals.

Smoking: A Risk Factor Of Leukoplakia 

Clinical research conducted to identify the causes of Leukoplakia in men and women has shown that cigarette smoking and other modes of tobacco smoking are significantly responsible for Leukoplakia among people. In a study carried out to evaluate how far cigarette smoking is responsible for Leukoplakia, 279 cigarette smokers and 73 non-smokers were enrolled and among all the subjects who were identified with oral Leukoplakia, 50 were found to be smokers and 3 were identified as non-smokers. As the study came to a close, it became apparent that Leukoplakia was mostly identified among cigarette and alcohol users and startlingly 33.3% alcohol and cigarette users participating in the study were found to be affected by Leukoplakia.

Prevention & Treatment of Leukoplakia 

  • Instant stopping of cigarette smoking and other tobacco containing substances is necessary to prevent the Leukoplakia patches inside the mouth as well as the tongue from worsening.
  • Limiting the intake of alcoholic beverages is essential if one is eager to keep Leukoplakia at bay.
  • On patients suffering from Leukoplakia, the doctor may try to remove the Leukoplakia patches by using specific removing instruments. On approaching the physician, he may use a laser or a scalpel to remove the patches developed due to Leukoplakia in order to protect the patient from further injury.
  • Intake of Fresh vegetables as well as fruits considerably lessens the occurrence of Leukoplakia.

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