Leukoplakia is a condition that causes the growth of thick, white patches (known as plaques) to develop on:

  •   The gums
  •  The bottom of the mouth
  •  The inside of the cheek
  •  Occasionally on the tongue

The causes of leukoplakia are unknown but the use of tobacco, particularly chewing tobacco, is known to put you at risk. Heavy alcohol consumption may also cause it.