Understanding Oral Lichen Planus: What is it?

Child with oral lichen planus

Smile Solutions focuses on providing specialized care when faced with oral conditions such as oral cliche planus. Oral Lichen Planus is a rare, chronic inflammatory condition affecting the mouth’s mucous membranes. Although it’s considered an uncommon condition, our skilled dental team is experienced in managing it. For those unfamiliar with this condition, we’re here to review what oral lichen planus is, who it affects, and how it can be treated. 

Understanding Oral Lichen Planus: What is it? 

Oral lichen planus is an inflammatory condition that causes white, lacy patches of reddened, inflamed tissue and open sores in the mouth. These patches can appear on the gums, cheeks, tongue, and sometimes on the palate. This condition can cause varying levels of discomfort, ranging from a mild burning sensation to severe chronic pain, especially when consuming spicy or acidic foods. 

While the exact cause of this condition is unknown, it is believed to be caused by an immune system response, such as allergic reactions, reactions to medications, and other infections. Although oral lichen planus affects middle-aged adults, it can occur at any age. Most importantly, this condition isn’t contagious and cannot be transmitted to others through contact. 

To summarize, oral lichen planus: 

  • Symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe oral pain.
  • The condition is more prevalent among middle-aged adults but can occur at any age.
  • OLP is not contagious.
  • While no definitive cure exists for OLP, effective management strategies can help alleviate symptoms and improve oral comfort.
  • Neglected OLP can lead to serious complications, such as oral cancer, underscoring the importance of early detection and regular monitoring.

Despite being a chronic condition, oral lichen planus can be effectively managed through dental treatments, some of which include: 

  • Saliva Substitutes and Moisturizers: One common symptom associated with OLP is dry mouth; to treat it, saliva substitutes and moisturizing products can improve your comfort. 
  • Topical Analgesics: Topical analgesics or anesthetics can also be applied to the affected areas to relieve temporary pain and reduce discomfort from lesions.
  • Soft Tissue Laser Therapy: If severe enough, laser treatment can manage the lesions and promote better healing.
  • Dental Restorations: Some dental restorations, such as fillings, crowns, and bridges, can help reduce the number of lesions present, especially if they are located along the teeth or gums. 
  • Lifestyle Changes and Monitoring: Most of all, regular dental checkups and changing your diet can help monitor and reduce the condition’s impact on your well-being. Your dentist can provide ongoing care to manage your OLP over time. 

Visit Smile Solutions in Garden City South, NY, Today For a Consultation!

If you’re experiencing any form of oral discomfort or have been diagnosed with OLP and are seeking optimal care options, hesitate to call Smile Solutions in Garden City, South, NY. You can reach us at 516-872-8780 to speak with Dr. Robert Berg for a dental exam and consultation. Our skilled dental team is ready to help you with effective solutions for maintaining oral health, so call us today. 

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Doctor Berg and Granddaughter

Doctor Robert Berg has established himself as the consummate dental professional in Garden City and the surrounding areas. For many years, Dr. Berg has been honored as a top dentist by the Consumer Research Council, America’s Top Dentists, and New York Top Dentists. He was also named as the best dental practice in Garden City by the Garden City Merchants Association.