Leukoedema is characterized by a widespread whitening of the inner lining of the cheek or other mouth tissues, due to an increase in the amount of fluid being retained by the skin's cells. Leukoedema is persistent, and is most common in individuals with dark skin. The cause of this condition is unknown. Leukoedema is much like another abnormal condition, leukoplakia, in that both give the inner mouth tissues a white appearance. A simple test to verify the condition is to stretch the skin over the fingers; if the normal pink color returns, it is leukoedema. It is important that we distinguish leukoedema from leukoplakia, as leukoplakia can be a pre-cancerous condition and should be biopsied for an accurate diagnosis.

then a biopsy (the microscopic examination of a tissue sample) is in order to ensure that there have been no significant changes in the tissue or the cells.