Oral lichen planus is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the mouth interior. It usually appears as patches of white streaks and spots that are not painful. More severe cases can involve episodes of sore areas and mouth ulcers. A tissue biopsy may be necessary for diagnosing this condition. Avoiding certain foods and beverages can help lessen or prevent painful symptoms.
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Crispy foods can aggravate oral lichen planus, as noted by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), particularly if there are open sores. You may need to avoid eating toast, crusty breads, chips, crackers, pretzels, crispy cookies and similar crunchy foods. You can soften crispy cereals with milk.
Caffeinated beverages also seem to aggravate oral lichen planus, explains the AAD. You may need to restrict your intake of coffee, black or green tea, colas, and other soft drinks that contain caffeine.
Another reason to stop drinking hot coffee and tea if you have oral lichen planus is that you may be extra sensitive to very hot foods and drinks when your mouth is sore, which can cause pain. It is important to avoid foods that can burn your mouth, and wait until they cool. Common culprits include hot, deep-fried mushrooms or cheese, as well as hot, melted cheese and sauce on pizza.
Spicy, Acidic and Citrus Foods
Spicy, acidic and citrus foods and beverages can aggravate oral lichen planus, according to the Mayo Clinic. You may need to avoid eating foods made with chilipeppers, curry, large amounts of ginger or garlic, or other spicy dishes. Tomato and tomato products can cause problems, as can lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits.
People with oral lichen planus may have a slightly elevated risk of developing oral cancer. Because of this increased risk, the Mayo Clinic advises against drinking alcoholic beverages. If you do choose to drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.