|EPITHELIAL THICKENING WHITE LESIONS
Asymptomatic; rough to palpation; fixed to the surface (won’t rub off)
|Lichen planus||Multiple areas of mucosa involved; bilateral distribution; white plaques arranged in striated pattern associated with erythema; ulcers may be present; skin lesions may be present.|
|Nicotine (nicotinic) stomatitis||Hard palate; mainly in pipe or cigar smokers.|
|Hairy tongue||Dorsum of tongue.|
|Hairy leukoplakia||Lateral surface of tongue; patient is immunocompromised, e.g. AIDS.|
|White sponge nevus||Multiple lesions affecting broad areas of mucosa; familial history; present from early age; genital & rectal mucosa may be affected.|
|Leukoedema||Bilateral on buccal mucosa. Disappears when tissue is stretched.|
|Erythema migrans (geographic tongue, benign migratory glossitis)||Multiple red patches with irregular yellow-white border; dorsal lateral tongue; lesions migrate; usually asymptomatic.|
|Hyperkeratosis||May resolve spontaneously.|
Superficially invasive squamous cell carcinoma
|Persistent; usually asymptomatic; more common as red lesion or mixed red and white lesion.|
|SURFACE DEBRIS WHITE LESIONS
Pain or burning; rubs off; submucosal erythema
|Candidosis||History of antibiotic therapy, immunosuppression; xerostomia; nail and/or vaginal lesions may be present|
|Burn (thermal or chemical)||History of burn.|
|Dried, thick saliva||Removed with wet gauze.|
|SUBEPITHELIAL WHITE LESIONS
Asymptomatic; smooth to palpation; surface is translucent.
|Cysts||Small cysts of oral mucosa can appear white. Examples are congenital keratotic cyst and lymphoepithelial cyst.|
|Fordyce granules (ectopic sebaceous glands)||Yellow, circumscribed, in clusters; most commonly located on buccal mucosa and upper lip.|
|Mucosal scarring||History of injury or surgery; usually poorly defined.|
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