Abstract

Prevalence of Fissured Tongue in a South Indian Population - A Cross-Sectional Study

Background: Tongue is an indicator of oral and general health. Fissured tongue is a common normal variant which does not require any treatment. Clinically, fissures are of varying depth up from 2 mm to 6 mm usually on the dorsal aspect at times extending onto the margins.

Objectives: The objectives of the study are: 1. To determine the prevalence of fissured tongue, 2. To assess the most prevalent pattern of fissured tongue in patients visiting a dental school, 3. To assess the possible association between the occurrence of fissured tongue with age, sex, habits, symptoms and medical illness.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among 500 patients, who visited the OPD of a dental school in South India. Fissured tongue was diagnosed clinically based on the presence of grooves on the dorsal and lateral aspects of the tongue and also the pattern of fissure. The subjects were interviewed for their habit history, symptoms related to tongue lesions and medical history.

Statistical analysis: Chi square test was done to assess the relation between fissured tongue with age, sex, habits, symptoms and medical illness.

Results: Out of the 500 patients screened, fissured tongue was present in 65 cases. 44 were males and 21 were females. Overall tongue fissures were present in 13%. The fissures were found to be least in the 10-20 year age group, 2 (3.07%) and it was most prevalent in the 21-40 age group, 25 (38.46%), followed by 41- 60, 22 (33.84%) and 61-80, 16 (24.61%) years of age. The most prevalent pattern of fissure was found to be central longitudinal fissuring, 32 (49.23%), followed by transverse fissures arising from a central fissure 10 (15.38%), then type I, 9 (13.84%) type V, 9 (13.84%), type VI, 4 (6.15%) and type III, 1 (1.53%). The least prevalent pattern was type III, double fissures. In our study 100% of our patients were asymptomatic. In our study 20% and 13.8% of fissured tongue was found in patients with diabetes mellitus and hypertension. There was no significant association of fissured tongue with systemic conditions. Prevalence of fissured tongue in patients with tobacco chewing, tobacco smoking and alcohol intake were 4.6%, 1.5%, and 1.5% respectively.

Conclusion: The prevalence was seen more in the elderly age group and in the males. Central longitudinal fissuring was the most prevalent pattern seen. The fissured tongue was asymptomatic in all our patients. The occurrence of fissured tongue showed no association with any systemic conditions and habits.


Author(s): Mathew AL, Cherian SA, Daniel MP, Abraham T and Mathew R

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