Pages 156 - 163 Volume 80, Issue 2
Dental and oral condition in leprosy patients from Serra, Brazil

To describe dental and periodontal diseases and oral lesions in newly diagnosed leprosy patients.


Cohort study with 99 leprosy patients carried out at the Leprosy Control Programme Outpatient Clinic, Serra-ES, Brazil. A questionnaire about demographic and clinical data was used. Clinical oral examination was performed through the decayed, missing and filled teeth index (DMFT index), the use and need of prosthesis, periodontal disease and the presence of mucous membrane oral lesions. Skin and oral mucous biopsies were also undertaken.


Decayed teeth were present in 73% of the patients, at least one lost tooth was present in 71.4%, the mean of the number of lost teeth among the patients in this survey was 8.8; and 60.3% of the patients did not have their teeth filled. Periodontal disease was present in 80.8%, and gingival bleeding in 92% of the patients. DMFT index average was 14.4. Nine out of the 63 patients presented with oral clinical lesions, however, most of them presented with unspecific chronic inflammation and typical epithelial hyperplasia.


These newly diagnosed leprosy patients were similar in respect of oral health to the normal Brazilian population. Serious dental loss and edentulism were observed, as were a high DMFT index and frequency of periodontal diseases. These data highlight a lack of oral health prevention and treatment and poor access even when available.

Cite this article
Vania A. Souza, Adauto Emmerich, Elizabeth M. Coutinho, Margareth G. Freitas, Eraci H. Silva, Flavia G. Merçon, Aline C. Souza, Viviane A.C. Balla, Eliana Zandonadi, Rebeca R.G. Peixoto, Patrícia D. Deps;
Dental and oral condition in leprosy patients from Serra, Brazil; Leprosy Review; 2009; 80; 2; 156-163; DOI: 10.47276/lr.80.2.156
Leprosy Review
British Leprosy Relief Association
Colchester, UK