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Epidemiologic aspects of oral ulcerations among Nigerian university students

1 Department of Periodontics, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
2 Dental Dentistry, Airforce Medical Center, Benin City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Clement Chinedu Azodo,
Department of Periodontics, Room 21, 2nd Floor, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, New Dental Complex, Benin City 300001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-6944.187435

Objective: To determine the oral ulceration experience, etiology, clinical characteristics, and the treatment-seeking behaviors in a Nigerian population and to relate it to emotional control. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among the undergraduates of University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria. Information sought was demographic and Courtauld emotional control characteristics, oral ulceration experience, frequency, site, etiology, impact, and action taken. Results: Of the 306 participants that completed the study, 118 of them reported oral ulceration experience (38.6%). The oral ulceration experience was higher among participants with lower mean unhappiness control score (P = 0.014). Participants with oral ulceration experience reported more oral health problems, ever visiting the dentist, but were less aware that oral ulceration can be a feature of oral cancer (P < 0.05). The oral ulceration experience was reported once in 54.2% of the participants, and 35.6% of them did not know the cause. The most affected site was the angle of the mouth (27.1%). Eating, mastication, swallowing, sleep, speech, and smiling were adversely affected by oral ulceration. Only 12.7% of the participants sought dentist attention for oral ulceration care. Never visiting the dentist emerged as the only significant predictor of dentist seeking attention for the oral ulceration. Conclusion: One out of every third participant with lower mean unhappiness control scores experienced oral ulceration which exerted adverse effects on oral functions and social interaction. The majority of participants with oral ulceration never sought dentist attention which means that dental clinic-based and community-based oral ulceration epidemiological study results would be varied.

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