(Nicotine Stomatitis, Smoker’s Palate, Smoker’s Keratosis, Smoker’s Patch)
What is Nicotinic Stomatitis?
Nicotinic Stomatitis (Smoker’s Palate) is a lesion of the roof of the mouth. The concentrated heat stream of smoke from tobacco products causes Nicotinic Stomatitis. These changes are observed most often in pipe and reverse cigarette smokers and less often in cigarette and cigar smokers. Generally, it is asymptomatic or mildly irritating. Patients typically report that they are either unaware of the lesion or have had it for many years without changes.
What are the Signs & Symptoms of Nicotine Stomatitis?
Nicotinic Stomatitis first becomes visible as a reddened area and slowly progresses to a white, thickened, and fissured appearance. The roof of the mouth has numerous minor salivary glands. They become swollen, and the orifices become prominent, giving the tissue a speckled white and red appearance. It cannot be wiped off and can have some fissuring. Patients usually are asymptomatic.
What are the causes of Nicotinic Stomatitis?
Nicotinic Stomatitis is been associated with pipe, cigarette, and cigar smoking, and, rarely, with chronic ingestion of high-temperature liquids. The mechanism of action is heat irritation from a tobacco product that acts as a local irritant, stimulating a reactive process. In patients who wear them, dentures often protect the palate from these irritants.
How is it treated?
Nicotinic Stomatitis generally is a reversible lesion once the irritant (that is, smoking) is removed.
The prognosis is excellent.