Lichen Planus: Types and Causes

Lichen planus (LY-kin PLAN-us) is a chronic condition that affects the skin and the lining of the mouth. It is usually temporary, lasting 10 years, on average, and most often affects adults between the ages of 30 and 60.

On the skin, lichen planus appears as clusters of small, itchy, red-purple, flat-topped bumps, usually on the forearms and thighs. In the mouth (also known as oral lichen planus) it has two basic forms:

  • Reticular lichen planus comes from the lace-like pattern of fine white lines that appear on the inside of the cheeks, gums, and tongue. Usually, this form of lichen planus does not require treatment. It is asymptomatic, and does not hurt.
  • Erosive lichen planus causes sores, or erosions to form on the lining of the mouth. Like the reticular form, these sores form on the cheeks, tongue and gums. Erosive lichen planus usually requires treatment. Your doctor may prescribe a powerful topical anti-inflammatory drug to help with the pain.

The exact cause of lichen planus is unknown, according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Research suggests that the immune cells, which normally protect us by destroying bacteria or viruses, start attacking the skin or the lining of the mouth.

While there is no “cure” for lichen planus, it is a manageable condition. If you think you might suffer from lichen planus, you should talk with your dentist or doctor. They can determine what treatment (if any) is needed.

source: “Lichen Planus.” Mouth Healthy, Web. June 7th, 2017.

For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.

We Look Forward To Welcoming You And Your Child…

You will find our office to be a pleasant and caring environment. We know a positive experience can set the tone for your child’s future dental health. That is why our office has been designed to be “kid friendly”. Even more importantly, our pediatric dentists and professional staff have dedicated their careers to helping children. We establish trust with your child by creating a safe and happy place for them to be. The latest in dental technology is combined with genuine compassion and concern.

We are open Monday through Saturday and offer appointments as early as 7:30am

The first checkup is recommended at the first birthday. Our patients generally stay with us until they graduate high school. We are proud to say we are now seeing the children of former patients, as the practice was established in 1973 by Dr. Robert Harmon.

We have 24 hour coverage for our patient’s dental emergencies. There is a pediatric dentist on call at all times. Should you need after hours advice or emergency care, simply dial our telephone number and our message will direct you.

Are we accepting new patients? Yes, absolutely! We are happy to welcome new patients to our practice and we appreciate your referring your friends and family to us.

Leave a Reply