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Oral submucous fibrosis: an update

Authors Wollina U, Verma SB, Ali FM, Patil K

Received 8 January 2015

Accepted for publication 13 February 2015

Published 13 April 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 193—204


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jeffrey Weinberg

Uwe Wollina,1 Shyam B Verma,2 Fareedi Mukram Ali,3 Kishor Patil4

1Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Academic Teaching Hospital Dresden-Friedrichstadt, Dresden, Germany; 2Nirvana Skin Clinic, Vadodara, Gujarat, India; 3Departments of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, SMBT Dental College, Sangamner, Maharashtra, India; 4Departments of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, SMBT Dental College, Sangamner, Maharashtra, India

Abstract: Oral submucous fibrosis (OSF) is a premalignant condition caused by betel chewing. It is very common in Southeast Asia but has started to spread to Europe and North America. OSF can lead to squamous cell carcinoma, a risk that is further increased by concomitant tobacco consumption. OSF is a diagnosis based on clinical symptoms and confirmation by histopathology. Hypovascularity leading to blanching of the oral mucosa, staining of teeth and gingiva, and trismus are major symptoms. Major constituents of betel quid are arecoline from betel nuts and copper, which are responsible for fibroblast dysfunction and fibrosis. A variety of extracellular and intracellular signaling pathways might be involved. Treatment of OSF is difficult, as not many large, randomized controlled trials have been conducted. The principal actions of drug therapy include antifibrotic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxygen radical mechanisms. Potential new drugs are on the horizon. Surgery may be necessary in advanced cases of trismus. Prevention is most important, as no healing can be achieved with available treatments.

Keywords: betel nut, betel quid, oral disease, squamous cell carcinoma, tobacco, fibrosis

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