Many people have suffer with oral lichen plantus (OLP) and don’t even know it. These are the ones which have milder cases of the disorder and only experience flare-ups after eating hot, spicy foods. For others who have the disorder and are well aware of it, there is no known cause or cure for it but there are treatments which help make the condition more bearable.

Symptoms of Oral Lichen Planus

Oral Lichen Planus, or OLP, presents with a dulling of the taste during a meal. The lack of taste is usually followed the next day by raised red patches or a white lacey pattern inside the mouth on the tongue and/or inner cheeks. The mouth may be itchy and dry or have a burning sensation. When a person is experiencing a flare-up of OLP the red patchy lesions may appear on other parts of the body.

Causes of OLP

Oral lichen planus occurs when the immune system launches an attack against the cells in the mucous membranes in the mouth. The attack is brought on by unknown reasons. OLP is not contagious, not life threatening and not curable. The initial bout of oral lichen planus last anywhere from six months to one year before it disappears. Once a person experiences a bout of OLP, flare-ups will continue for life.

Treatment for OLP

Mild case of OLP are simply treated with an avoidance of foods which trigger flare-ups, like anything spicey or acidic. More severe cases of OLP, or a flare-up, are treated with a medicated mouth spray or oral cream. Many people who suffer with oral lichen plantus have found a home remedy which brings them relief - aloe vera juice. Aloe vera juice is a natural anti-inflammatory and drinking one glass of it each day reduces the discomfort for many OLP sufferers.

People who suffer with the most severe cases of oral lichen planus may be put on a treatment plan that includes taking medication to suppress the immune system and stop the attack on mucous membranes.