To assess the prevalence of oral mucosal lesions (OML) and evaluate its association with tobacco and alcohol consumption and the wearing of removable dentures in an adult population from the Turin area, Italy.
A retrospective study, based on an invitational self-selected screening, was performed on 4098 subjects. It included clinical examination plus biopsies when necessary. Patient history included age, sex, denture wearing and risk habits. Internationally accepted criteria were adopted to classify the OMLs.
Males were observed to have more OMLs (557/2040; 27.3%vs 471/2058; 22.89%). Overall OML prevalence was linked to risk habits and age. Tobacco was linked to leukoplakia, melanin pigmentation, smoker's palate, frictional lesions and papilloma. It was negatively related to recurrent aphthous stomatitis and oral lichen planus. Alcohol was linked to leukoplakia, frictional lesions and median rhomboid glossitis. The tobacco-alcohol association was linked to frictional lesions, leukoplakia, melanin pigmentation and smoker's palate. Denture wearers had an overall higher prevalence of OMLs, in particular candidiasis, traumatic and frictional lesions.
The prevalence of OMLs in Turin seems to be comparable to those in other European studies and emphasize that risk habits and denture wearing have some relationship with the presence of OMLs.