Oral and Dental Complications of Sickle Cell Disease in Nigerians

Okafor, L. A.; Nonnoo, D. C.; Ojehanon, P. I.; Aikhionbare, O.
September 1986
Angiology;Sep1986, Vol. 37 Issue 9, p672
Academic Journal
A clinical evaluation of the oral and dental complications of sickle cell disease in Nigerians was carried out in 37 consecutive patients with homozygous sickle cell disease Hb-SS (Sicklers) compared to a control group of 24 persons with normal haemoglobin Hb-AA (control group) matched for age and sex. The significant abnormalities found in sicklers included intrinsic opacity of the teeth in 67.5% of sicklers compared to 28.83% in the control group; malocclusion of the teeth with over-jet and over-bite in 35% of sicklers compared to 16.66% in the control group; dental caries is present in 35.13% of sicklers which was less than its occurrence in 54% of the control group due to widespread avoidance of sweets by most local sicklers. Diastemata (gaps between the teeth) was present in approximately equal frequency in sicklers (27%) and control group (25%). In view of the aesthetic and medical implications of these abnormalities, it is recommended that sicklers should receive regular dental check-up with a view to ameliorating or preventing these complications by prophylactic measures including the use of orthodontic appliances such as braces, etc. The above findings are discussed in relation to the other complications of sickler cell disease in other organs of the body.


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