• Lichen Planus

LICHEN PLANUS

Lichen planus is a disease that is known to last for an extended period. This disease can affect the mouth and the other parts of the body. When this disease shows up in the mouth, it is usually called ‘oral lichen planus’. It has the tendency of occurring on its own or as a result of other diseases which affect other parts of the body.

This disease mostly occurs in those who are in their middle age or more and women are more prone to getting it than men.

SIGNS OF ORAL LICHEN PLANUS

Lichen planus usually announces its presence in many ways, but some of them involve the formation of white patches on some parts of your mouth (like your tongue, cheeks and gums). Lichen planus does not hurt,but there are usually cases of redness, ulcers and blistering (which rarely occurs) alongside the white patches. If you experience any of these, you may find it difficult to eat hot food or food with a lot of spice.

If you have signs and you are wondering if it could be lichen planus, come to our dental clinic in Harley Street, London, for proper diagnosis. Call 020 71830755 to know more.

CAUSES OF LICHEN PLANUS

The causes of lichen planusare usually not known in many patients, but it is usually a warning sign which shows that the immune system of the patient is slightly weak though patients with lichen planus do not generally have other issues.

Some of the times, lichen planus may occur when a patient reacts to some medications (which may include drugs for high blood pressure, painkillers, and treatments for diabetes, beta-blockers or penicillamine).

Oral lichen planus is not a genetic disease and does not run in families. This disease does not appear to be caused by an infection but can get worse if the patient eats spicy food, acidic fruits like citrus or suffers from emotional stress.

HOW CAN ORAL LICHEN PLANUS BE DIAGNOSED?

Lichen planus is usually diagnosed after an examination has been carefully carried out by a dentist. Lichen planus can appear and have the same symptoms as other disorders — this is why a biopsy is necessary if the disease must be carefully diagnosed.

The biopsy is not a complicatedprocedure— it usually involves the removal of a small piece of tissue from the mouth. It usually takes about 7 to 10 days for the site where the tissue was removed to be healed. This biopsy is usually done with a local anaesthetic to prevent the patient from feeling pains.

HOW CAN LICHEN PLANUS BE TREATED?

Lichen planus generally does not need treatment except in cases where the symptoms are painful. Some patients do not complain of pains with their white patches. They say they feel a little bit rough around the lining of their mouth and this does not demand any form of treatment.

 The only treatment that may be prescribed for oral lichen planus is the application of corticosteroid cream on that area. For some areas, the application of some immunosuppressant may be prescribed,but there are very rare cases where a person will need to take a tablet of corticosteroid or anything similar.

Adhere to the instruction of your dental team and avoid things like spicy and acidic foods that may make the condition worse. Things you are allergic to should also be avoided. For further investigations, your dentist may have to refer you to a doctor.

You can allow us to help you manage that lichen planus. Visit us in Harley Street, London today. Book an appointment today.

CAN ORAL LICHEN PLANUS DISAPPEAR?

Oral lichen planus never disappears, but treatment will help keep the condition from being painful though it is not really possible to detect if the condition will be painful or not. For the white patches on the lining of the mouth, it will always be there.

CAN A LONG TERM COMPLICATION ARISE FROM ORAL LICHEN PLANUS?

There have been some links between cancer of the mouth and oral lichen planus. It has been discovered that 1 in 3 patients who have suffered from lichen planus will on the long run suffer from cancer of the mouth. Though the exact relationship between lichen planus and oral cancer has not been established, only a few patients with oral lichen planus have developed cancer of the mouth so far.

HOW CAN ORAL LICHEN PLANUS BE PREVENTED?

It is impossible to consciously prevent oral lichen planus from occurring since its causes are not even known. Anyways, one can reduce his/her chances of developing serious diseases from oral lichen planus by:

  • Not smoking
  • Reducing the amount of alcohol taken
  • Eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables

It is crucialalways to maintain a good oral hygiene whether you have lichen planus or not. Let the last thing you do at night before going to bed be cleaning your mouth with a fluoride toothpaste — this should also be done at least once during any other time of the day.

Do not also forget to frequently check in with your dentist for a regular check-up on your teeth and mouth.

CONTACT US TO KNOW MORE

If you need advice on your oral health in general, call 020 71830755 to speak to our dentist at Cosmetic Dentistry Clinic. If you have a dental issue, you can also visit our dental clinic in Harley Street, London to meet one on one with our dental team. Book an appointment with us today.