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16-01-2012 | General practice | Article

Orodental manifestations common in people with facial port-wine stains


Free abstract

MedWire News: People with facial port-wine stains have frequent orodental manifestations, say researchers.

Most commonly these include lip enlargement, stained gums, and having an abnormal bite.

Writing in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, David Darrow (Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, USA) and colleagues explain that although people with facial port-wine stain are known to have orodental manifestations, the variety and prevalence of these physiologic abnormalities is unclear.

Darrow and team carried out a cross-sectional survey of 30 individuals born with port-wine facial stains. Questionnaires were completed by participants and their dentists.

They found that orodental manifestations were common, particularly in patients with darker and thicker port-wine stains. Overall, 53.3% of the participants had enlarged lips, 46.7% had stained gums, 30.0% had an abnormal bite, and 26.7% had spontaneous bleeding of the gums.

Prior staining of the gums was significantly correlated with dental findings of gum and maxillary hyperplasia and with having widened interdental spaces.

Of note, more patients than dentists reported having lip enlargement, at 50.0% versus 18.2%.

Bleeding after dental procedures in study participants was reported by dentists and patients as being rare (4.5%).

"Familiarity with the orodental manifestations of port-wine stains may result in improved dental care for patients," write the authors.

They say that the small size of their study and lack of a control group means that the findings should be treated with caution.

For example, "the association between port-wine stains and manifestations with a high background prevalence such as gingival bleeding can be demonstrated only in a larger controlled study," say Darrow et al.

"Nevertheless, one may conservatively conclude that port-wine stains involving the oral soft tissues is a predictor of additional orodental complications including tissue hyperplasia and shifting of teeth, and that patients with darker facial port-wine stains may be prone to gingival bleeding that is safely treated with appropriate preparation," they conclude.

By Helen Albert

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