Oral submucous fibrosis: a clinicopathologic review of 205 cases in Indians

Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2011 Mar;15(1):15-9. doi: 10.1007/s10006-010-0225-x.


Introduction: Oral submucous fibrosis is a disease due to a chronic, insidious change in fibro-elasticity, characterized by burning sensation in the oral cavity, blanching, and stiffening of the oral mucosa and oro-pharynx leading to trismus and inability to open the mouth. The symptoms and signs depend on the progression of the lesions and number of affected sites. It is predominantly seen in Indians and other Asians. Once the disease has developed, there is neither regression nor any effective treatment. There are only few studies on the frequency and clinicopathological feature of oral submucous fibrosis in the Indian population in recent years.

Material and methods: The present study evaluated 205 cases of oral submucous fibrosis for the age, sex, site of involvement, duration of disease at the time of diagnosis, associated habits and common presenting symptoms, presence of other mucosal lesions, malignant potential, and the histopathology.

Results and discussion: Oral submucous fibrosis was seen in younger age (20-30 years) than that reported in literature and showed a characteristic male preponderance. A strong association with smokeless tobacco use especially arecanut in the form of gutkha was established and was related to earlier development of oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF), i.e., within a year of the habit. A total of 11.6% of cases were associated with malignancy and occurred predominantly in males.

Conclusion: This article gives an insight into OSMF in this part of southern India and adds to its biologic profile.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Areca / toxicity
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Developing Countries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Mouth Neoplasms / etiology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology
  • Oral Submucous Fibrosis / diagnosis*
  • Oral Submucous Fibrosis / etiology
  • Oral Submucous Fibrosis / pathology*
  • Precancerous Conditions / diagnosis
  • Precancerous Conditions / etiology
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / toxicity
  • Trismus / etiology
  • Young Adult