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VOLUME 18 , ISSUE 8 ( August, 2017 ) > List of Articles


Cytological Changes in Normal Oral Mucosa of Individuals with Tobacco Habits: A Cytomorphometric Study

Pavan G Kulkarni, Pavan Palakurthy, Rateesh K Nandan, T Madhusudan Rao, D Shyam P Reddy, Keerthi Muddana

Citation Information : Kulkarni PG, Palakurthy P, Nandan RK, Rao TM, Reddy DS, Muddana K. Cytological Changes in Normal Oral Mucosa of Individuals with Tobacco Habits: A Cytomorphometric Study. J Contemp Dent Pract 2017; 18 (8):722-727.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-2114

Published Online: 01-08-2017

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2017; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.



Oral cancer is one of the six most common cancers in the world, and globally more than 50% of head and neck cancers occur in Asia, remarkably in India. Overall, 200,000 cases of head and neck cancers occur each year in India, among which 80,000 are oral cancers. Epidemiological and clinical studies suggest a causative role of tobacco use in the evolution of oral potentially malignant and malignant disorders.

Aims and objectives

The aim of the study is to evaluate independently and compare the cytological effects of smoking, tobacco chewing, and smoking in conjunction with tobacco chewing on oral mucosa by cytomorphometric analysis.

Materials and methods

The study included a total of 120 individuals subdivided into four groups, each group with 30 individuals. Group I was tobacco smokers, group II tobacco chewers, and group III both tobacco smokers and chewers. Group IV comprised 30 individuals without tobacco habit. Smears were prepared from buccal mucosa of both the study and control groups using a cytobrush and stained using Papanicolaou staining. The cells were quantified using image analysis software.


The results of the study showed alterations in the nuclear and cellular parameters in the study groups when compared with control groups and were statistically significant (p < 0.05).


The present study explains the significance of early identification of cellular changes in individuals with tobacco habits who require early intercession even without any visible oral mucosal changes. The study emphasizes that exfoliative cytology and cytomorphometry aid as a valuable tool to evaluate the effect of tobacco on oral mucosa.

Clinical significance

Simple noninvasive techniques like exfoliative cytology can be employed as a chairside technique and in mass screening programs for identification of cellular changes in oral mucosa of individuals with tobacco habits. Thereby, it can be used as an early diagnostic tool for identification of potentially cancerous and cancerous lesions.

How to cite this article

Palakurthy P, Kulkarni PG, Nandan RK, Rao TM, Reddy DSP, Muddana K. Cytological Changes in Normal Oral Mucosa of Individuals with Tobacco Habits: A Cytomorphometric Study. J Contemp Dent Pract 2017; 18(8):722-727.

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