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Hairy Leukoplakia Causes & Risks

Causes

Hairy leukoplakia results from a virus that becomes active in the body when the immune system becomes weak. Infection may play a role in other cases as well. Leukoplakia usually results from irritants, such as:

  • Pipe or cigarette smoking
  • Chewing tobacco or snuff
  • Rough teeth
  • Rough places on dentures, fillings, or crowns

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Discuss these risk factors with your doctor:

  • Age: older than 65
  • Sex:
    • More men than women get leukoplakia.
    • In women, the condition more often develops into cancer .
  • Lifestyle:
    • Tobacco use (especially smokeless tobacco)
    • Long-time alcohol use
  • Conditions: HIV-positive or weakened immune system

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2020 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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