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Linea alba - Oral Mucosal Lesion
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Linea alba - Oral Mucosal Lesion

Contributors: Carl Allen DDS, MSD, Sook-Bin Woo MS, DMD, MMSc
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


The linea alba ("white line") is a defined, linear area of hyperkeratosis and leukoedema that is caused by chronic very mild topical frictional injury and is located where the upper and lower teeth meet, on the buccal mucosa. Therefore, it is only seen where teeth are present.

It is present to a greater or lesser extent in every one but is more prominent in some persons.

Patients are generally unaware of its presence.

It may be accentuated in patients who have a chronic cheek biting habit. Extent of involvement is what divides a very prominent linea alba from chronic bite injury.

It is considered normal anatomy of the buccal mucosa and is present for years usually without progression.


L81.8 – Other specified disorders of pigmentation

280591001 – Linea alba

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Last Updated:01/03/2017
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Linea alba - Oral Mucosal Lesion
A medical illustration showing key findings of Linea alba : Linear configuration, Oral white plaque
Clinical image of Linea alba - imageId=2491878. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A horizontal, linear, white plaque on the buccal mucosa.'
A horizontal, linear, white plaque on the buccal mucosa.
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