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Dental and Oral Health (Seniors)

Repeat biopsy of lichen planus

01/23/2006

Question:

My 73 yo mother was diagnosed with lichen planus (tongue biopsy) 15 years ago. It has never gone away. Her dentist wants a repeat biopsy. She is very upset about this and I`m wondering if it`s necessary. She says it hasn`t changed. It gets worse when she`s on antibiotics, which she`s on frequently for asthma/chronic sinus problems. She also takes ativan, which I read can aggravate the condition. I`m trying to balance the need for another biopsy with her increasing anxiety over the procedure. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

Answer:

There are two types of lichen planus:

1. Benign and non-erosive

2. Erosive

There is a very small chance for the erosive type to change into a pre-malignant condition. Therefore, if the condition is determined to be of the erosive type, a biopsy might be necessary to rule out pre-malignancy.

My suggestion is that you check with the nearest Medical Center-preferably a school of Dentistry, where they will have a department of Oral Medicine/ Oral Pathology.

For more information:

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

Response by:

Abdel Rahim   Mohammad, DDS, MS, MPH, FAAOM, FACD Abdel Rahim Mohammad, DDS, MS, MPH, FAAOM, FACD
Clinical Professor of Geriatrics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University