Prevalence of tongue alterations and related factors in children attending the University of Cartagena, Colombia

Meisser Vidal Madera Anaya, María Del Carmen Jiménez Malagón, Luz Mayda Luna Ricardo


Aim: The aim of the present study was to describe prevalence of tongue alterations and related factors observed in child patients attending the University of Cartagena, Colombia. Method: The present study was of a cross-sectional, descriptive nature. 134 children were randomly examined after attending consultation during the second semester of 2011. Selected children were subjected to clinical examination, their medical history was reviewed and their mothers were interviewed, in order to ascertain presence of tongue alterations. A classifi cation was undertaken and socio-demographic characteristics were noted as well as possibly related factors (drug intake, anemia, nutritional problems, vitamin B defi ciencies, allergies, stress, psoriasis and oral hygiene. Proportions, confi dence intervals and χ2 statistical test were used, assuming signifi cance lesser than 0.05. Results: Prevalence of tongue alterations was 79.9%. Most frequent lesions were coated tongue (74.6%) and ankyloglossia (5.2%). No statistically signifi cant relationship was found between presence of tongue alterations and assessed factors. Conclusion: Tongue alterations in children were highly prevalent, especially coated tongue cases. Bearing this in mind parents and children should be encouraged to implement healthy oral hygiene habits stressing hygiene of the tongue’s dorsal surface.

Palabras clave

Alterations of the tongue, ankyloglossia, related factors, fi ssured tongue, geographical tongue, coated tongue.

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