Oral lichen planus is a non-communicable inflammatory disease that affects the intra oral membranes, the most common areas being the internal face of the cheeks, palate, tongue or inner face of the lips.
Oral lichen planus presents a habitual appearance of whitish spots in a reticular form. It can also appear with the appearance of inflamed red spots that occur with ulcers or aphthous ulcers. This can cause pain or burning. The problem of looking like this type of injury, lies in the high probability that people affected by this disease have oral cancer in the injured areas.
The cause of this injury is not completely clear. Currently, it is known that it occurs due to an alteration of the immune system, specifically of «T» lymphocytes. This results in an affectation of the basal cells of the intra oral mucosa.
There are some hypotheses that link the presence of allergy or oral infections as possible triggers of this disease, but are not yet confirmed.
The main annoyance that this evil generates, is in the first place the concomitant discomforts to the opened ulcers. These can become infected causing much pain, sensitivity and discomfort to various stimuli such as hot, citrus or spicy foods. Other common discomforts are usually the discomfort of brushing, swallowing, chewing and even speech.
It is common that when a person suffers from oral lichen planus, it usually has other locations at a general level, appearing as erythematous blisters in various parts of the body. These can be the ears, the genitals, the scalp, the nails or the esophagus.
There are risk factors that predispose to have this type of injuries such as the consumption of drugs that weaken the immune system, have immune alterations or be recently transplanted undergoing processes of immunosuppression.
The complications of this disorder are very varied. The most usual are:
- The appearance of infections of the pathological zones.
- Stress, anxiety, depression, social isolation.
- Weight loss, nutritional deficiency.
- Considerable pain.
- Even in the worst of circumstances, the appearance of oral cancer.
The diagnosis of oral lichen planus is first given by a clinical examination that identifies the lesion. Then you can proceed to perform biopsies, blood tests that identify an immune disorder that justifies its appearance. In addition, cultures can be carried out, in case of secondary infections by bacteria or fungi.
The primary treatment consists of trying to identify and eliminate the cause of the immune alteration. There is also a line of action that is based on the relief of symptoms by:
- Topical products like gels.
- Ointments with corticosteroids.
- Infiltrations in the affected área.
- Systemic drugs, the latter most used in generalized lichen planus.
If you are a victim of this disorder go to any of our clinics, where our professionals will be happy to help you, go to SJD Dentist.