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Prevalence of oral mucosal changes among 6- 13-year old children in Sulaimani city, Iraq

Shokhan Ahmad Hussein & Arass Jalal Noori

College of Dentistry, University of Sulaimani



Objectives: Understanding the distribution, etiology and epidemiology of oral mucosal changes is essential for preventive and treatment planning. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and distribution of oral mucosal lesions and normal variations among 6- to 13-year old children in Sulaimani city, north of Iraq.

A cross-sectional survey was carried out on primary school students in Sulaimani city. A total of 5113 Kurdish children was examined; 2757 (53.92%) were males and 2356 (46.08%) were females, enrolled in 20 primary public schools. Any oral mucosal changes observed at the time of examination were recorded.

The prevalence of oral mucosal changes was found to be 12.87% (658 children): 12.91% (356) males and 12.82% (302) females, with no statistically significant gender variations (P>0.05). Twelve different oral mucosal changes/lesions were diagnosed and the most common were herpes labialis (3.2%), aphthous ulcers (2.25%), linea alba (1.72%), angular cheilitis (1.7%), traumatic ulcers (1.58%) and geographical tongue (1.33%). No statistically significant association was found between different types of lesions and gender (P>0.05). The lips were found to be the most common affected site (27.36%) followed by buccal mucosa (23.86%), tongue (18.54%), labial mucosa (14.13%), and the lip commissures (13.22%).

Conclusion: The present study represents the first cross-sectional epidemiological study of the prevalence and distribution of oral mucosal lesions among Kurdish Iraqi children in Sulaimani city providing the baseline data for future relative preventive and health service programs.

Keywords: Oral mucosal lesion, Sulaimani city, oral health.


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