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Prevalence of oral lesions among patients in the dental faculty of the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The main objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of white, red and pigmented lesions of the oral cavity among patients attending the dental faculty of the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. We designed an epidemiological, cross-sectional, descriptive and observational study. White, red and pigmented lesions were evaluated randomly in a total of 100 patients. Data such as patient’s demographics, smoking habit, presence or absence of oral lesions (and their features) and whether the patient was aware of the presence of the lesion were collected. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and contingency tables were constructed using the chi-squared test. Analytical statistics were performed by comparing means in nonparametric analyses using the Mann–Whitney U test. The total prevalence of oral lesions was 22% (n = 100). The average age of the patients was 54.68 years (SD = 14.64). Most patients with oral lesions were women (60%) and the average size of the lesions was 1.83 cm. Most of the lesions were red (almost 60%) and asymptomatic (> 90%). There was a known causal link for almost all lesions, with a percentage of higher than 80%. Most patients (69.2%) were aware of the presence of the lesion when it was red (P = 0.016). The most frequent type of lesion in this study population was a red lesion, located on the lip, with a hypertrophic surface, asymptomatic and with a known causal nexus. Periodical check-ups are fundamental to be able to make an early diagnosis of any lesions, as no patient with a white lesion was aware of the risk of it being a premalignant or malignant lesion. Keywords Oral mucosa; lesion prevalence; Spanish population.

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