The assessment of contributing factors to oral ulcer presence in Behçet's disease: Dietary and non-dietary factors

Eur J Rheumatol. 2018 Dec;5(4):240-243. doi: 10.5152/eurjrheum.2018.18094. Epub 2018 Oct 12.


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the contributing factors for oral ulcer activity in Behçet's disease (BD).

Methods: Ninety-two patients with BD (F/M: 42/50, mean age: 38.7±10.02 years) participated in this cross-sectional study. Data regarding disease-related factors, smoking patterns, and self-reported dietary/non-dietary triggering factors for oral ulcer activity were collected by a questionnaire. Treatment protocol was categorized as mild and intensive groups associated with organ involvements.

Results: A mild treatment protocol was more common in females (52.4% vs 20%) than in males (p=0.002). During the last three months, the number of oral ulcers in female patients was higher in the mild treatment group (6.4±6.5) than in the intensive treatment group (3.3±4.9) (p=0.045). In patients with active oral ulcers (n=63), rate of being a non-smoker was also higher in females (86.7% vs 63.6%) than in males. Daily frequency of tooth brushing was 1.2±0.8 in patients with BD, and was higher in females (1.5±0.9 vs 0.9±0.6) (p=0.001). Stress and fatigue (78.3%) were reported as the most frequent triggering factors for oral ulcer presence in patients with BD. A total of 148 different dietary factors associated with oral ulcer presence were reported in the study.

Conclusion: A mild treatment protocol and being a non-smoker were found to be the contributing factors associated with oral ulcer activity in patients with BD. Being motivated for oral hygiene and being non-smokers were positive health behaviors observed in females. Irrespective of gender, stress and fatigue were defined as the most common self-reported triggering factors for oral ulcer presence in BD. In addition, the roles of some dietary factors were also reported.