Q. Is leukoplakia completely curable with medicines?

Answered by
Dr. Prerna Jain
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 01, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 12, 2019

Hello doctor,

My father went to a dentist as he had white patches in his gums and mouth. The dentist told that it is an oral leukoplakia. He asked him to stop smoking immediately. It is a serious condition which can turn into cancer. He advised stopping smoking for three months. After that, he can start the medicine. But he did not mention clearly which stage of cancer this is. No test has been done. He did not clarify if the medicine is going to cure him completely. Please help me with this. Is there any particular test to find out which stage it is in and what specific treatment would be required.



Welcome to

  • Leukoplakia is a premalignant lesion. This means that it is not cancer yet and can be reversed. And hence there is no need to worry about staging.
  • If your father stops smoking, it should regress with time. And later if required, some medication can be given to further correct the situation.
  • It needs to be taken seriously. Smoking habit must be stopped now to prevent further changes and cancer formation.

For more information consult a dentist online -->

Thank you doctor,

Is there no test required? Will a simple physical examination be enough? Right now, he is not smoking at all. But, is it completely curable?



Welcome back to

  • Yes, if it is at the stage of leukoplakia, it is reversible.
  • No test is required for it right now. However, it needs to be constantly monitored to check for any changes like roughening of skin, increase in size, redness or ulceration. If that happens, then he will need to get a simple biopsy done.

For further queries consult a dentist online -->

Hello doctor,

Thanks for the reply. My main confusion is if, after three months of not smoking, he takes the medicine as per the doctor's advice, is that enough to completely cure this disease or will it just be controlled with medicines like diabetes?



Welcome back to

  • Medicines can reduce the size of leukoplakia patches. It might even remove it completely. If it does not get removed completely, it can be surgically removed. He will need to go for regular checkups as advised by the doctor.

For more information consult a dentist online -->

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