Preventing leukoplakia 

Tobacco and alcohol

The most effective way of preventing leukoplakia is to avoid using any form of tobacco and to stop drinking alcohol, or at least ensure that you stick to the recommended daily allowance for alcohol consumption.

See the Health A-Z pages on Quitting smoking and Alcohol misuse for information and advice about how to achieve this.

Mediterranean-style diet

Eating a Mediterranean-style diet may also reduce your risk of developing leukoplakia and oral cancer.

A Mediterranean-style diet is high in fresh vegetables, particularly tomatoes, citrus fruits (such as oranges, grapefruit and lemon), olive oil and fish oil.

Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day will also help to prevent leukoplakia, oral cancer and other types of cancers. Fruit and vegetables contain chemicals known as antioxidants, which are thought to help protect human cells from damage.

Leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach and cabbage are thought to provide the most protection against cancer. Your diet should also be low in fat and high in starchy foods, such as wholemeal bread, wholegrains and potatoes.

See the Health A-Z pages about Diet and the Live Well section about Healthy eating for more information and advice about eating healthily.

Page last reviewed: 17/01/2011

Next review due: 17/01/2013