How Is Linea Alba Diagnosed and Treated?
If you notice a lesion in your mouth, make an appointment to see your dentist. They can determine if the lesion is caused by friction — such as cheek biting — or has more serious implications. Though linea alba is harmless, it shares similarities in appearance to leukoplakia, which can be a precursor to oral cancer. To determine the cause, your dentist will wipe the lesion with a sterile gauze pad. If the white line remains, the keratinized area is most likely caused by something rubbing or abrading the cheek.
Next, your dentist will try to identify and eliminate the cause of friction. For example, if you grind or clench your teeth at night, your dentist might recommend wearing a mouthguard to protect your cheeks and teeth. Similarly, if braces or dentures rub against your cheek, your dentist might make adjustments to your appliance to improve the fit.
However, if you routinely bite or chew the inside of your cheek, you will need to work on breaking the habit. Sometimes just being aware of the issue can help you stop. If you bite your cheeks when stressed, explore ways to manage your anxiety, such as seeking counseling or using breathing techniques. Regardless of the treatment, your dentist will probably want to check for improvements at a follow-up appointment.
Thankfully, linea alba is both painless and nonthreatening. But because it looks similar to other more serious oral lesions, make an appointment with your dentist to get it checked out — just in case. Your oral health is worth it!