Lichen Planus


Lichen planus is a non-contagious, inflammatory condition which affects the skin and the membranes in the mouth. It varies in severity as some people will not even notice they have it whereas other people can develop sores and inflammation in their mouth. There is no cure for lichen planus but there are medications or home remedies which can relieve symptoms. Here at Smile Hub Dental Clinic in Bayside Medical Centre, we can offer help and information to make living with this condition easier.


Symptoms of oral lichen planus include white patches on the tongue and cheeks which do not cause pain or irritation. These can be seen in mild cases of lichen planus. If the condition is more severe mouth ulcers or sores can develop and make it difficult to eat or drink. Another symptom some people get is a burning sensation around the mouth.


The cause of lichen planus is unknown but it has been found that certain things can make symptoms more severe. Certain medications or dental products can cause a reaction. Mouth injuries, infections and stress can also make symptoms worse. In some cases, lichen planus has been linked to diabetes and hepatitis C.


There is no cure for lichen planus and in some cases, it can go away by itself. In severe cases treatment that can be used to relieve pain or discomfort include:


  • Corticosteroids which can be in mouthwash, gels, pills or injections.
  • Immune response medications put on the affected spot
  • Light therapy
  • Aloe vera application
  • If an allergy is causing an outbreak, a consultation with a dermatologist
  • Avoid hot or spicy foods
  • Good oral hygiene
  • Avoid smoking and tobacco


If you think you might have lichen planus contact Smile Hub Dental Clinic for an appointment on 01 5253888 or book online.


Frequently Asked Questions

What triggers Oral Lichen Planus?

There is no exact cause for lichen planus but some things that can cause it to flare up include:

  • Medication
  • Mouth injury
  • An Oral Infection
  • An allergic reaction
  • Stress
  • Diabetes or Hepatitis C

Is Oral Lichen Planus serious?

Lichen planus is not a serious condition. It may cause pain and discomfort but in very rare cases lichen planus can lead to cancerous changes. This is not common at all as there is a 1% risk over a period of 10 years.

How is oral lichen planus treated?

  • Corticosteroids which can be found in mouthwash, gel, pill or injection forms
  • immune response medications
  • Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and avoiding certain foods

What are symptoms for oral lichen planus?

  • Burning sensation around the mouth
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Sensitivity to hot, acidic or spicy foods
  • Irritation of the gums when brushing or flossing
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • White lacey patches on the tongue
  • Difficulty eating or speaking due to pain

Is Lichen Planus common?

Lichen planus can be common and can develop on the skin or in the mouth. About 2% of the population have this condition. It can be found in every age group but it is more common in women over the age of 50.

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    Smile Hub Dental Clinic, Bayside Medical Centre, Bayside Shopping Centre, Sutton, Dublin 13