Oral leukoplakia: Diagnosis and treatment

Document Type: Review Article(s)


1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark

2 Professor, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark

3 Professor, Department of ORL-Head and Neck Surgery, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark

4 Associate Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Oral leukoplakia (OL) is a common premalignant lesion. The possible benefits of specific interventions in preventing a malignant transformation of OL are not well understood. This review assesses different invasive treatment techniques for OL and evaluate the optimal treatment possibilities.METHODS: A Medline (PubMed) search was conducted and heterogeneity between the studies was found, e.g., with regard to the OL lesions, patient groups, follow-up time, and definition of recurrence.RESULTS: The recurrence and malignant transformation rate after the different treatment methods were evaluated. The mean overall recurrence rate varied with the treatment method.CONCLUSION: A surgical treatment appears to decrease the risk of transformation but does not fully eliminate it. Follow-up should be done regardless of the surgical treatment.


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