Background & Aim: Patients presenting with an array of benign oral mucosal diseases to oral & maxillofacial (OMF) units practicing risk habits such as betel chewing could be at high risk of poor oral health and progressing into Oral Potentially Malignant Disorders (OPMD) or oral cancer. Against this backdrop, we investigated the possible role of selected habits, periodontal disease an oral hygiene in occurrence and prognosis of oral mucosal lesions, among a cohort of patients in Sri Lanka.
Material & Methods: The study included newly diagnosed patients aged >18-years presented with benign oral mucosal diseases. The sample comprised of 134 patients. The data were collected by a pre-tested validated interviewer-administered questionnaire which comprised of socio-demographic information, information on risk habits and data on clinical oral examination for oral hygiene and periodontal disease status.
Results: Descriptive statistics and Chi-Square test of statistical significance were used. The leading mucosal condition was fibro epithelial polyp (41.1%) followed by lichenoid reaction (31.3%). Majority attained General Certificate of Education- Advanced level and ordinary levels education (33.6% and 30.6%) respectively. By occupational status, there was a variation ranging from skilled and unskilled laborer’s (35.1%) to 23.1% of professionals. Moreover, 26.9% of patients were chewing betel on a daily basis while another 14.2% at certain times. Frequency of betel chewing was significantly associated with male gender, moderate to poor oral hygiene, moderate to severe periodontal disease status (p=0.001). Whilst levels of education and occupational status were significantly associated with above conditions (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Present findings provided new insights into the unharnessed potential of patients presented to OMF units with benign oral mucosal diseases for primordial and primary prevention and control of OPMD and oral cancer.
Benign oral mucosal disease, Betel chewing, Risk habits, Oral hygiene, Periodontal disease, Sri Lanka