PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Most often, you can prevent leukoplakia by:
- Avoiding all tobacco products. This is one of the best steps you can take for your overall health, as well as being one of the main ways to prevent leukoplakia. Talk to your doctor about methods to help you quit. If friends or family members continue to smoke or chew tobacco, encourage them to have frequent dental checkups. Oral cancers are usually painless until fairly advanced.
- Avoiding or limiting alcohol use. Alcohol is a factor in both leukoplakia and oral cancer. Combining alcohol and smoking may make it easier for the harmful chemicals in tobacco to penetrate the tissues in your mouth.
- Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. These are rich in antioxidants such as beta carotene, which reduce the risk of leukoplakia by deactivating harmful oxygen molecules before they can damage tissues. Foods rich in beta carotene include dark yellow, orange, and green fruits and vegetables, including carrots, pumpkin, squash, cantaloupe and spinach.
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