Oral leukoplakia and erythroplakia: a review and update

Pract Periodontics Aesthet Dent. 1994 Aug;6(6):9-17; quiz 19.


Soft tissue health in the oral cavity is essential for overall dental and medical health and a successful maintenance of any restoration. This article reviews the clinical, etiologic, and prognostic features of oral leukoplakia, the most common of all chronic mucosal lesions, affecting 3% of all adults. The newest definitions for leukoplakia, erythroplakia, and smokeless tobacco keratosis are offered, along with a rationale for predicting malignant transformation and for treatment planning of these most important precancers. The learning objective of this article is to update the information for the clinician for early diagnosis and treatment of these lesions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Erythroplasia / etiology
  • Erythroplasia / pathology
  • Humans
  • Leukoplakia, Oral* / etiology
  • Leukoplakia, Oral* / pathology
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology
  • Plants, Toxic
  • Prognosis
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / adverse effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects