Rare bone marrow diseases linked to poor oral health

2020 03 03 00 02 3000 Dentist Hygienist Tools 400

Patients with genetic disorders that impair the formation of blood cells and platelets may also have poor oral health, according to a study published on July 7 in the Pediatric Dental Journal. The oral health effects may be directly related to the diseases or other factors related to the conditions.

The study analyzed the oral health status of patients with inherited bone marrow failure syndromes (IBMFS), rare diseases related to the disrupted formation of blood cells and platelets in bone marrow. The oral health of immunologically compromised patients, like IBMFS patients, is crucial to their overall care. Poor oral health could become the source of life-threatening infection.

Patients with IBMFS might also have oral findings related to their neutropenia and their underlying disorder, like precancerous lesions, oral cancers, or the drugs they use to treat their cytopenia. For these reasons, dental consultation is critical for patients with IBMFS, but previous research on their oral health status is limited.

"Extensive dental caries, gingival inflammation, and inadequate oral hygiene status showed the necessity of early dental visits," wrote the study's authors, led by Cansu Ozsin Ozler of Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey (Pediatr Dent J, July 7, 2022).

More than half (54%) of patients with IBFMS had no regular teeth brushing habits, and about 78% had initial or cavitated dental caries. Various oral mucosal lesions and dental abnormalities were also detected, like aphthous lesions, leukoplakia, microdontia, taurodontism, and rotation.

As many of the study's participants had no adequate brushing habits, the importance of oral care for those with IBFMS is critical. Good oral hygiene is essential to increase their quality of life and prevent infections.

Oral inflammation and infection can affect the entire body. The possibility of an oral source should be considered for any complications with an unknown origin, especially in neutropenic patients. Therefore, the study authors urge patients with IBMFS to visit the dentist routinely from a young age.

"Adopting regular dental counseling as part of the multi-disciplinary team approach for patients with IBMFS is necessary to ensure better general and oral health," Ozler and colleagues concluded.

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