How information about oral lichen planus (OLP) should patients be given?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Jaisri R Thoppay, DDS, MBA, MS; Chief Editor: Jeff Burgess, DDS, MSD  more...
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Patient education is important. Many patients with oral lichen planus (OLP) are concerned about the possibilities of its malignancy and contagiousness. Many patients are frustrated by the lack of available patient education concerning oral lichen planus. [37]

Inform patients with oral lichen planus of the following:

  • The chronicity of oral lichen planus and the expected periods of exacerbation and quiescence

  • The aims of treatment, specifically the elimination of mucosal erythema, ulceration, pain, and sensitivity

  • The lack of large randomized controlled therapeutic clinical trials

  • The possibility that several treatments may need to be tried

  • The potentially increased risk of oral cancer

  • The possibility of reducing the risk of oral cancer (see Complications)

Information about oral lichen planus is currently available online. For instance, an oral lichen planus chat room is available at the homepage of the International Lichen Planus Support Group Web.

For patient education material, visit the Cancer Center, as well as Cancer of the Mouth and Throat.

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