Oral candidiasis as a risk factor for oral lichen planus exacerbation: a literature review

Radvilė Raubaitė1, Arūnas Rimkevičius1, Jūratė Žekonienė1, Modesta Domeikaitė1

1Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Odontology, Vilnius, Lithuania


Background. In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized oral lichen planus (OLP) as a premalignant condition. The characteristics of exacerbation of OLP and contributing risk factors are understudied. Oral candidiasis (OC) is prevalent in oral lichen planus (OLP) lesions and may be contributing to the course of neoplastic OLP development.

Aim: to investigate the link between oral candidiasis and exacerbation of oral lichen planus lesions where Candida species were present.

Methods. Google Scholar, PubMed and ScienceDirect databases were used to search for articles from 2010. The literature sources were selected on the basis of the following criteria: 1) articles describing the association of oral lichen planus with oral candidiasis, 2) articles examining the impact of oral candidiasis on the malignancy of oral mucosal lesions, and 3) articles describing the pathophysiology and aetiology of both oral lichen planus and oral candidiasis. 18 articles were selected for the literature review, including scientific publications of experimental studies and literature reviews in relation to oral lichen planus and oral candidiasis, and their clinical manifestation, diagnostic procedures, treatment.

Results. After thorough literature analysis, findings of the relationship between oral candidiasis and the exacerbation of oral lichen planus lesions are presented in this literature review. Oral candidiasis can complicate the course of oral lichen planus and may increase the risk of malignant transformation of OLP lesions.

Conclusions. A correct and timely diagnosis of oral candidiasis in OLP lesions is crucial to prevent the potential malignant transformation of OLP lesions and to apply an effective treatment.

Keywords: oral Candidiasis, oral Lichen Planus, malignant lesions.

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