Fun Fact Friday: Linea Alba

Notice a white line along the inner side of your cheek?

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Case of Linea Alba

This condition is known as Linea Alba, stemming from the Latin meaning of White Line.  It is simply hardening of your oral mucosa.

Linea alba is a common finding, asymptomatic (a condition producing or showing no symptoms), benign, usually occurs bilaterally (on both sides of the mouth) and has no necessary treatment.  These lines appear usually due to pressure, frictional irritation or sucking trauma from the facial surfaces of the teeth and is commonly related to emotional or behavioral issues as well.   It is can also be found in people that chew tobacco and can be mistaken for lesions requiring treatment.

This line is commonly found where the upper and lower posterior (back teeth) meet and can extend in a horizontal line to the corners of the mouth.  When the oral mucosa is consistently irritated, a thick layer of keratin hardens forming the linea alba.  The is a very common issue that occurs in individuals that are frequent cheek biters, have ill fitting dentures, crooked or broken teeth or ill fitting orthodontic appliances can also cause linea alba.  Linea alba is also found to be more common in women as statistically is has shown that women are more frequent in cheek biting than men and is also more commonly found in adults over children.

Treatment for this issue can range from learning to abstain from behavior that may cause the irritation, ie. cheek biting, fixing the teeth that irritate the cheek or denture causing the irritation but essentially fixing the reason that is leading to the consistent irritation of the oral mucosa.
If you have any questions regarding your oral health, call our office to discuss what best fits your needs!


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