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Do you have any pictures of the white patches that you could provide for a quick look? And what specific information would you like to know about your condition?
Well tobacco users in general typically have a non-vascularized oral environment from usage of the product. That means that the oral environment, specifically gingival tissues, have less blood flow to them. So when an irritant or injury happens sometimes healing isn't typical compared to non-tobacco users. Anytime a dentist or surgeon sees white or red lesions that we describe as plaques or erosions we want to make sure that the tissue isn't cancerous or even pre-cancerous. There are a lot a lesions that are considered within normal limits or just variations of normal and aren't cancerous. So your surgeon likely wants to do a quick biopsy just to verify that these are simple tissue changes. Until the tissue has been bioposied and evaluated we only can classify the lesions as leukoplakias. If the lesions are significant its best to act early and have them removed. I understand your anxiety, but can reassure you that many people are sent to the oral surgeon for bioposy of unusual tissue lesions, and very few are cancerous.
The timeline I give patients is 10-14 days, if they don't disappear in that time they should be looked at and very likely biopsied. So 2-3 weeks you should follow up, its always better to be safe than sorry! I can also let you know that oral biopsy is super easy, and it heals fast. So don't be afraid of that procedure, its very routine punch style biopsy and will give you clear mind that all is good!
Yes if you need further assistance in 2-3 weeks, simply ask! Again, white and red lesions are concerning, increasing size or lesions with red borders are red flags to us. Raised white lesions could be a pre-cancerous lesion, so please do not wait to have your follow-up in the next couple weeks. Take care
You welcome, Dr. Hegland