Risk factors for chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis: dental appliances, oral hygiene, previous oral lesions, and history of smoking.

Oral mucositis is one of the dose-limiting toxicities of several chemotherapy (CTX) agents. There are suggested risk factors that could influence the development of mucositis. The presence of dental appliances, history of oral lesions, or smoking have the potential to irritate the oral mucosa and produce breaks in the integrity of the mucosa. The purposes of this study were to determine if there were differences in the incidence, severity, and time to onset of CTX-induced mucositis in oncology outpatients who wore dental appliances, had a history of oral lesions, had varying oral hygiene/care practices, and had a history of smoking and those who did not. Patients who were initiated a course of CTX that included stomatotoxic agents were followed for three complete cycles of CTX. They were instructed on how to examine their mouths for mucositis, to contact, and then visit their outpatient settings if it occurred. Clinicians corroborated the presence of mucositis, and the Eiler's Oral Assessment Guide was used by clinicians to determine the severity. Of 332 outpatients, almost half (46%) wore some type of dental appliance, 32% had a history of oral lesions, 10% were currently smoking, and 63% had a history of smoking. Oral hygiene/care practices varied: 81% brushed their teeth two or more times a day, 29% flossed at least daily, 11% had visited their dentist within 2 months of beginning CTX, and 10% had their teeth professionally cleaned within two months of beginning CTX. There was a 31% (n = 104) incidence of CTX-induced mucositis. No significant differences were found in the incidence between patients who wore dental appliances, had a history of oral lesions, had a history of smoking, and practiced different hygiene/care and patients who did not. Of 104 patients who developed mucositis, the average severity rating was 13.05 +/- 2.88 (+/-SD) (a normal mouth is rated at 8) and the average time to onset was 22.3 +/- 21.46 days. There were no significant differences found in severity or time to onset of mucositis between patients who wore dental appliances, had a history of oral lesions, had a history of smoking, and practiced different dental hygiene/care and patients who did not. Although not significant, there were interesting differences in the time to onset across the suggested risk factors (e.g., patients who had visited a dentist or who had their teeth professionally cleaned within 2 months before beginning before CTX developed mucositis 7.4 and 10.6 days sooner, respectively, than patients who did not). These findings suggest that risk factors for the development of CTX-induced mucositis are not as simple and direct as clinicians may believe.
AuthorsM J Dodd, C Miaskowski, G H Shiba, S L Dibble, D Greenspan, L MacPhail, S M Paul, P Larson
JournalCancer investigation (Cancer Invest) Vol. 17 Issue 4 Pg. 278-84 ( 1999) ISSN: 0735-7907 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID10225008 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents (adverse effects)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Diseases (complications)
  • Mouth Mucosa (pathology)
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Orthodontic Appliances (adverse effects)
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking (adverse effects)
  • Stomatitis (chemically induced, etiology)

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