Potentially Malignant Disorders of the Oral Cavity

  • Saman WarnakulasuriyaEmail author
Part of the Textbooks in Contemporary Dentistry book series (TECD)


A proportion of oral cancers stem from preexisting oral potentially malignant disorders. These are a group of disorders whose natural history is not clearly characterized but there is sufficient evidence that some may transform to cancer. The most common oral potentially malignant disorder is oral leukoplakia. Most of these conditions are asymptomatic and may be detected during a screening examination by a health professional. The clinical features vary and a diagnostic biopsy is performed to assess the grade of dysplasia. Several factors should be considered for stratification of their risk. The management includes interventions on risky life styles, surveillance of low risk lesions, and excision of lesions demonstrating higher grades of dysplasia.



◘ Figure 12.21 is reproduced with permission from Speight et al. [4]. Elsevier license number 443270125426. I wish to thank Professor Edward Odell for kindly providing me with photomicrographs for ◘ Figures 12.1312.20 for this publication and Professor Paul Speight for providing the original copy of ◘ Figure 12.21.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial SciencesKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.WHO Collaborating Centre for Oral CancerKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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