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Dentistry/White tissue on hard palate next to tooth


QUESTION: I noticed a white area if tissue which is a little wrinkled on my hard palate inbetween my back molar and my crown. I tried to remove it and it doesn't come off. It's just like a wrinkles peice if tissue that's paler and whiter. Is this considered leukoplakia? Is this due to the crown? Should I see my dentist?

ANSWER: Kim - I have to tell you that the picture of the palate does not appear to have any pathological appearance.  Whitish areas are often just thickening of the tissue in a protective mode.  This can happen from swallowing when the tongue goes to the palate (normal) to create a water tight seal in the swallow.  So I don't see anything on that picture that appears abnormal.  If you want to make sure, make an appointment with a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon to take a biopsy of the area to insure that the area is healthy.

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QUESTION: The tissue I am talking about is more so right next to the molars along te teeth the tissue next to the teeth. It's not really the hard palate but just the tissue next to the teeth. It's the same really on both side. Kind of white and puffy like the pale color and its soft. Is this just normal of tissue next to the teeth? It's like that around my crown and my other molars. I can't get a really good pic I apologize. Would it still be nessecary to get a biopsy from an oral surgeon? Do you think this is just normal? I have a cleaning in a month so I figured I would ask them about it then.

Kim -  All the tissue you show appear normal.  The whitish are of the tissue around the teeth is actually thickening gingival tissue, which is normal.  No biopsy is warranted and the area looks normal.  Just relax and get your teeth clean and leave the area alone.


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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