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Leukoedema is a normal variation of the buccal mucosa, or inside surface of the cheek. It presents as a white-bluish tinge of the buccal mucosa but the color disappears when the cheek is stretched. This aids to differentiate this lesion from other similar looking conditions which could be premalignant, such as leukoplakia. It is more prevalent in people who have dark skin and can be more intense in smokers.

Histologically, the white appearance is caused by water within the spinous cells causing the light to reflect back as whitish.


  • Kahn, Michael A. Basic Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Volume 1. 2001.