Leukoplakia and erythroplakia
When it comes to oral health doctors and dentists keep an eye out for two conditions called leukoplakia and erythroplakia. These are two types of lesions, or tissue changes, that may occur within the mouth and/or throat—and may potentially be precancerous (though not always).
Leukoplakia is a gray or white area in the mouth or throat that doesn’t come off when scraped. Erythroplakia is a red area that is either flat or raised. If it’s scraped, erythroplakia tends to bleed easily.
Sometimes, patients have a mix of both types of tissue changes, known as erythroleukoplakia. In this case, the patch within the mouth or throat has red and white sections.
These oral conditions may be discovered by a dentist during a routine cleaning or by the patient during regular toothbrushing. Patients whose mouth or throat looks or feels different than normal are urged to consult a doctor or dentist.