Apr 28, 2000
Dear Doctor, I am a R.D.H. and have a patient in my office that appears to have leukoplakia in the mucobuccal fold bilaterally in the maxilla. He is a white male 45 yrs. old asymptomatic, nonsmoker, nondrinker, has been seen every 6 months for checkups. I noticed it . The white material does not come off. His hygiene is very good. I don't know his sexual status. Is this lesion mainly in the homosexual population? Is it pre-hiv? Is it pre -cancerous? Should we or he be concerned? Will it go away or spread? How do we treat it? Should we refer him to an oral pathologist? Thank you very much for you help in this matter. We are very concerned for him.!!!P.S. I was aware of the term leukoplakia. Is there a difference between hairy and non hairy leukopakia?
Response from Dr. Reznik
Oral hairy leukoplakia is a term used for a specific condition, related to the Epstein-Barr Virus, which appears on the lateral border of the tongue in immunocompromised individuals. I use the term immunocompromised since this condition has been seen in oncology patients, bone-marrow transplant patients as well as people living with HIV/AIDS. OHL is seen in both men and women and is not related to mode of transmission.
I would definitely refer this gentleman to an oral pathologist.
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