Review article: non-malignant oral manifestations in inflammatory bowel diseases

K H Katsanos, J Torres, G Roda, A Brygo, E Delaporte, J-F Colombel
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2015, 42 (1): 40-60

BACKGROUND: Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) may present with lesions in their oral cavity. Lesions may be associated with the disease itself representing an extraintestinal manifestation, with nutritional deficiencies or with complications from therapy.

AIM: To review and describe the spectrum of oral nonmalignant manifestations in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases [ulcerative colitis (UC), Crohn's disease (CD)] and to critically review all relevant data.

METHODS: A literature search using the terms and variants of all nonmalignant oral manifestations of inflammatory bowel diseases (UC, CD) was performed in November 2014 within Pubmed, Embase and Scopus and restricted to human studies.

RESULTS: Oral lesions in IBD can be divided into three categories: (i) lesions highly specific for IBD, (ii) lesions highly suspicious of IBD and (iii) nonspecific lesions. Oral lesions are more common in CD compared to UC, and more prevalent in children. In adult CD patients, the prevalence rate of oral lesions is higher in CD patients with proximal gastrointestinal tract and/or perianal involvement, and estimated to range between 20% and 50%. Oral lesions can also occur in UC, with aphthous ulcers being the most frequent type. Oral manifestations in paediatric UC may be present in up to one-third of patients and are usually nonspecific.

CONCLUSIONS: Oral manifestations in IBD can be a diagnostic challenge. Treatment generally involves managing the underlying intestinal disease. In cases presenting with local disabling symptoms and impaired quality of life, local and systemic medical therapy must be considered and/or oral surgery may be required.

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