OBJECTIVE: Tobacco usage is the most important known aetiological factor in the development of oral leukoplakia. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible relation of tobacco usage to the anatomical site of the leukoplakia.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Clinical data regarding tobacco usage and localisation of leukoplakia obtained from 166 patients with oral leukoplakia.
RESULTS: Leukoplakias in the floor of mouth appeared to be statistically significantly more often present in smokers than in non-smokers, compared to all other oral sites (P < 0.001; OR = 8.47 and 18.13 for men and women, respectively). On the contrary, leukoplakias on the borders of the tongue were statistically significantly more common among non-smokers, than smokers, compared to all other oral sites (P < 0.001; OR = 0.22 and 0.12 for men and women, respectively).
CONCLUSION: The present study suggests that the influence of tobacco on the development of leukoplakia varies by anatomical site.