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Oral health conditions in leprosy cases in hyperendemic area of the Brazilian Amazon.

Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo; 59: e50, 2017 Aug 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28902294
Leprosy is a hyperendemic chronic condition in the Rondônia State . Despite the significant impact of oral health on the quality of life and clinical evolution of leprosy patients, systematic evaluation of oral health status has been neglected. To analyze the dental-clinical profile, self-perceived oral health and dental health service access of leprosy cases in the municipality of Cacoal in Rondônia State , North Brazil, from 2001 to 2012. A descriptive, cross-sectional study design was performed based on dental evaluation and standardized structured instruments. We investigated clinically assessed and self-perceived oral health status, as well as dental health service access. A total of 303 leprosy cases were included; 41.6% rated their oral health as good, and 42.6% reported being satisfied with their oral health. Self-reported loss of upper teeth was 45.5%. The clinical evaluation revealed that 54.5% had active caries. Most (97.7%) cases reported having been to the dentist at least once in their life and 23.1% used public health services. The poor standard of oral health in this population may increase the risk for leprosy reactions, consequently reducing quality of life. Low access to public health dental services and poor self-perceived oral health reinforce the need to achieve comprehensive health care in this population.