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If you have a burning sensation accompanied by white patches on the inside of your mouth, that’s a sign that you should visit your dentist to diagnosis the source. You may have lichenoid mucositis.

Here’s more about the symptoms, causes, treatment and outlook.

Symptoms of Lichenoid Mucositis

This type of mucositis is a coverall term for flat lesions that occur on the mucosa, or the lining of the cheeks in the mouth. Oral mucositis is an inflammation of the mucosal membranes of the mouth and surrounding areas. Symptoms include red, shiny gum tissue, a swollen mouth and soreness or pain. Open ulcers on the tongue or gums make it difficult to eat and talk, and people can develop dry mouth combined with increased mucus or thicker saliva. The sores can become infected and produce a white, pus-like substance similar to the lichenoid buildup.

Causes of Lichenoid Mucositis

People can develop types of oral mucositis for several reasons, such as infection, poor oral hygiene and the use of tobacco. Radiation therapy to the head and neck area and particular types of chemotherapy are other causes.

Medication side effects can also lead to this condition. If your lichenoid mucositis is triggered by medication, it’s more likely to show up as a single lesion instead of several lesions or sores.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Lichenoid Mucositis

The most challenging aspect of treating this condition is identifying the cause. Oral lichenoid lesions are often mistaken as oral lichen planus. We recommends you see a doctor immediately if you experience bleeding gums, redness or shininess in the mouth that lasts longer than two days, or difficulty eating and swallowing.

Depending on the cause, your dentist may recommend changes to some of your medications or lifestyle. If you experience any unusual changes in the tissues of your mouth, contact your dental office to book an appointment to get it assessed.