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Do You Have White Bands Inside Your Cheeks?

by Puneet Kathuria | January 8, 2018

Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) is a prominent premalignant condition which results in the consumption of tobacco in different forms for an extended period. The free radicals released from different tobacco forms lead to the commencement of the mucosal fibrosis. The white bands present inside the cheeks initially do not seem to be problematic, but then after a certain period, it results in pain and discomfort in the individual's cheeks.

Oral cancer is one of the most commonly occurring disorders in the world. India ranks the highest in the occurrence of the oral cancers around the globe. It is caused due to the increased consumption of the areca nut on a regular basis, alcohol as well as smoking. In India, pan masala is quite commonly consumed which leads to the fibrosis of the mucosa of cheeks. White bands are widely seen in the interior part of the cheeks of individuals who have these mentioned habits.

Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) is a prominent premalignant condition which results in the consumption of tobacco in different forms for an extended period. The free radicals released from different tobacco forms lead to the commencement of the mucosal fibrosis. The white bands present inside the cheeks initially do not seem to be problematic, but then after a certain period, it results in pain and discomfort in the individual’s cheeks.

There are different causes of oral submucous fibrosis:

  • Chewable substances like betel nut which are hard to chew are one of the major causes of the oral submucous fibrosis.
  • Excessive consumption of the chilies on a regular basis also leads to the formation of white bands or patches on the buccal mucosa in the mouth.
  • Nutritional deficiencies like lack of iron and zinc are some of the secondary causes of the occurrence of oral submucous fibrosis.

Here are some of the notable clinical features of oral submucous fibrosis:

  • The leathery appearance of the buccal mucosa and blanching of the mucosa are some of the critical and initial clinical features of this premalignant condition.
  • As the condition progresses, mouth opening is decreased which causes difficulty for the individual in his daily life.
  • Recurrent ulceration is quite common in case of the fibrosis of mucosa. Individuals feel discomfort due to the repeated occurrence of ulcerations in the mouth and find it difficult to chew.
  • Increased redness on the interior part of the cheeks is commonly seen in the individuals chewing betel nut for an extended period.

Treatment of oral submucous fibrosis:

  • One of the first and significant treatments for this premalignant condition is avoiding the habit of chewing betel nut on a daily basis. This can take time, but it is the most efficient way to deal with this condition.
  • Hyaluronidase is an enzyme which is useful in dealing with the hyaline bands of this fibrosis condition.
  • Antioxidant lycopene is helpful in curing the features of this condition.
  • Laser treatments and surgeries are also taken into consideration in case of further complicated cases.