Objective: To evaluate the presence of oral disease, as assessed by dental and periodontal indices, in the anterior maxilla of a group of 76 patients with leprosy, compared with a group of matched control subjects.
Materials and methods: The study included 76 patients with leprosy (age range 40-82 years; 39 males), resident in the sanatorium of San Francisco de Borja de Fontilles (Alicante, Spain). Clinical examination was carried out to evaluate the decayed missing and filled index, and the periodontal status in the anterior maxilla, using the Löe-Silness dental plaque index, mean periodontal probing depth and the average periodontal attachment loss.
Results: In the leprosy patients, a large proportion of maxillary incisors and canines were missing. The mean plaque index in leprosy was 2.35 +/- 0.7, with a probing depth of 2.96 +/- 0.8, and an average attachment loss of 4.18 +/- 1.3, indices all statistically greater than in controls. There were no differences detected in the oral indices measured according to the presence or absence of facial destruction or the type of leprosy.
Conclusions: Patients with leprosy show a tendency to poor dental and periodontal health, unrelated to the presence of facial destruction or the type of leprosy.