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OBJECTIVE: As many as 22 types of autoimmune diseases
affecting oral cavity have been described in literature. This study
aims to determine the prevalence, age and gender distribution, and
the various treatment options in the management of oral
autoimmune conditions seen in a Nigerian tertiary hospital.
METHODS: A retrospective study of all the patients who
presented at the Oral Medicine Clinic, Dental Centre, University of
Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria, over a period of 4
years. The medical records, laboratory and histopathology reports
of the patients seen within the study period were reviewed. All
cases of oral autoimmune conditions were selected and studied.
RESULTS: Of the 404 patients seen during the study period, 57
cases of oral autoimmune disorders were diagnosed giving a
prevalence of 14.1%. The male to female ratio was approximately
1:1. The mean age was 37.9 ±17.2 years. Among the 57 oral
autoimmune conditions recorded recurrent aphthous ulcer (RAU)
accounted for 27 (47.4%) cases, followed by erythema multiforme
12 (21.1%). The 20 to 30 years age group had the highest
occurrence of autoimmune conditions 14 (24.6%), made up largely
of RAU 11(19.3%) and lichen planus 3 (5.3%). Over 73.7% (n=42)
of the patients with autoimmune conditions were treated with
corticosteroids (local and systemic), 11 (19.3%) patients were
treated with Loratadine, an antihistamine.
CONCLUSION: This study showed a relatively higher prevalence
of autoimmune condition presenting in Oral Medicine clinic in this
Centre, with the highest occurrence in the 3rd decade of life.
Recurrent aphthous ulcers and erythema multiple were the most
common forms of oral autoimmune conditions. The treatment
administered was mostly corticosteroids and antihistamine.