White Plaque of the Lateral Tongue

Photo showing adherent white plaque on the lateral tongue.
The following Case Challenge is provided in conjunction with the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.

A healthy 48-year old white woman presented with a chief complaint of an ‘irritated’ sensation involving her tongue. The problem seemed to be limited to her left lateral tongue and had been noticed for at least six months by the patient. She also indicated the condition varied in severity.

After you have finished reviewing the available diagnostic information, make the diagnosis.