Most leukoplakia patches are noncancerous, but some show early signs of cancer. They may be caused by smokeless tobacco use.


Thickened, white patches form on the gums, the insides of the cheeks, the bottom of the mouth, and, sometimes, the tongue. The patches can't be scraped off.


For most people, stopping tobacco or alcohol use clears the condition. Persistent patches may be surgically removed.

Last Updated Jun 13, 2017

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