Oral Erosive Lichen Planus


What is Oral Erosive Lichen Planus?

Oral erosive lichen planus (OELP) is a rare condition that affects the surface of the mouth, involving ulceration and erosion. It is a type of inflammatory disease that affects the tissue layers of the mouth, causing pain, swelling, and tenderness. OELP can affect both the tongue and the inner lining of the cheeks and lips. It is considered to be a chronic condition, meaning that it can last for several years. OELP is believed to be caused by an abnormal response of the immune system to certain medications, foods, or contact with metal. It can also be a side effect of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and HIV.

Symptoms of Oral Erosive Lichen Planus

Common symptoms of OELP include:

  • Painful and/or tender eroded lesions on the tongue, inner cheeks, and/or inside the lips
  • White spots inside the mouth
  • Difficulty or pain when speaking or eating
  • A metallic taste in the mouth
  • Swelling and inflammation of the gums

Treatment for Oral Erosive Lichen Planus

OELP is a chronic condition, so treatment is usually focused on relieving symptoms. Treatment may include:

  • Oral rinses and topical medications to soothe the irritation
  • Antibiotics and antiviral drugs to control infection
  • Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
  • Immune-modulating drugs to control the immune response
  • Antihistamines to reduce itching
  • Changes in diet and lifestyle, such as avoiding foods that irritate the mouth

In some cases, a biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis of OELP. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove ulcerated tissue.