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The prevalence of oral mucosal lesions in alcohol misusers in Chennai, south India

Author(s): Rooban T | Rao Anita | Joshua Elizabeth | Ranganathan K

Journal: Indian Journal of Dental Research
ISSN 0970-9290

Volume: 20;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 41;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Alcohol | leukoplakia | precancer | oral mucosa | oral submucous fibrosis

Aims and Objectives: This study was conducted to assess the prevalence of various oral mucosal lesions (OML) among alcohol misusers attending a rehabilitation center in Chennai, south India. Materials and Methods: Qualified dental surgeons examined 500 consecutive alcohol misusers at Ragas Dental College and Hospital and TTK Hospital, India. Thorough history and oral findings were recorded in a pre-determined format. Data entry and statistical analysis were done using SPSS 10.0.5β. The variables for this study were OML, Oral Hygiene Index (OHI), age, smoking, and alcohol misuse (type and units consumed and duration of misuse). Results: Of the 500 patients, 77% were in the 25-44 years old age group and 84% were married. The mean age of initiation of alcohol misuse was 34 years. In addition to alcohol, 72% smoked tobacco and 96% used other psychoactive substances. The mean alcohol use duration was 12.6 years. A total of 25% of the study group had at least one OML. The common oral lesions were smoker′s melanosis (10.2%), oral submucous fibrosis (8%), and leukoplakia (7.4%). Those who misused spirits had a higher incidence of OML than those who misused beer or both. Patients with fair oral hygiene had an odds ratio (OR) of 2.96 for OML compared with an OR of 2.08 for those who had OML with good oral hygiene. Conclusion : This study indicates that subjects who misuse alcohol have poor oral hygiene and are at risk for the development of periodontal disease and OML. This survey indicates that oral examination and treatment should be a part of the standard care for alcohol misusers at rehabilitation centers.
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