Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Oral lichen planus

01/05/2009

Question:

After my most recent exam, my dentist told me the the gum irritations I have been experiencing recently could possibly be oral lichen planus. She recommended a toothpaste without SLS to rule out simple irritation from this chemical and if this did not help, she would refer me to a specialist who might do a diagnostic biopsy. I do have two questions: (1) what causes oral lichen planus; (2) I have been reading that lichen planus is an autoimmune disorder. Ten years ago I had Guillain- Barre Syndrome, another autoimmune disorder, and was wondering if there could be a connection.

Answer:

A patient information pamphlet can be found at the website www.aaomp.org that answers many of the common questions about oral lichen planus. The biopsy features of this condition are characteristic, but not necessarily diagnostic. Ideally, you should be evaluated by an oral pathologist. To the best of our knowledge, there is no direct relationship between Guillain-Barre syndrome and oral lichen planus.

For more information:

Go to the Dental and Oral Health (Adults) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University