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Gum Diseases

Keratinized Tissue Treatment

06/03/2011

Question:

I`m told that I have keratinized tissue (like a callus) in a small part of my mouth. It doesn`t hurt to the touch, but it causes pressure and pain, and throws off my bite. Is this likely to get worse over time? And what are the usual types of treatment for this condition? Thanks very much.

Answer:

There are a number of possible causes for hyperkeratinization, most are the result of some form of trauma or chronic irritation. I would presume that the lesion is white, is it raised? Does it have a pebbly texture or corrugated texture? Where is it in the mouth? How long has it been there? What do you mean by "pressure and pain"? What kind of habits do you have ? Do you smoke, drink alcohol, chew or dip snuff, chew on pencils or some other object?
 
It also could be the result of chemical irritation or a viral exacerbation (HPV wart, or EBV hairy leukoplakia). I can't tell without seeing it first hand and examining the lesion and matching with a medical and dental history. Treatment could range from observational to excisional biopsy. I would strongly suggest that you have this evaluated by your primary care provider or your dentist to further evaluate.

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University