Smokers Keratosis on hard palate
Smoker’s keratosis is a painless white patch in the mouth of someone who is a regular smoker. This thickened white/grey lesion of the hard palate is caused by tobacco and heat from smoking a pipe, cigar, or cigarettes.
What to look for
Commonly, these patches occur on the palate (roof of the mouth) as a white ‘tile-like’ pattern with little red spots and are painless. Smokers may already have a white patch or a red patch elsewhere in the mouth. Please note that persistent white patches due to smoking (leukoplakia) may be considered potentially malignant.
Smoker’s keratosis is not considered a pre-cancerous lesion, however, the patient should be encouraged to stop smoking, and the oral mucosa should be checked periodically. The outlook for smoker’s keratosis is good, but the patient is at increased risk to develop cancer in other locations in the mouth or in the upper aero digestive tract.
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