2021 Jul 27. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–.
Oral premalignancy is considered as an intermediate stage. It is classified into two broad straplines, premalignant lesions and premalignant conditions. The premalignant lesion is defined as “a morphologically reformed tissue in which oral cancer is more likely to occur than in its seemingly normal counterpart.” An example is leukoplakia. A premalignant condition is defined as “a generalized state associated with a significantly increased risk of cancer.” An example is oral submucous fibrosis. Recently the World Health Organization (WHO) considered premalignant lesions and conditions under a single group of disorders known as Potentially Malignant Disorders. Oral leukoplakia is a potentially malignant disorder affecting the oral mucosa. It is defined as “essentially an oral mucosal white lesion that cannot be considered as any other definable lesion.” Oral leukoplakia is a white patch or plaque that develops in the oral cavity and is strongly associated with smoking. Risk factors include all forms of tobacco use forms, including cigar, cigarette, beedi, and pipe. Other synergistic risk factors include alcohol consumption, chronic irritation, fungal infections such as candidiasis, oral galvanism due to restorations, bacterial infections, sexually transmitted lesions like syphilis, combined micronutrient deficiency, viral infections, hormonal disturbances, and ultraviolet exposure.