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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 100-105

Knowledge, awareness, and practices in relation to potentially malignant disorders of the oral cavity in a rural area of Western Maharashtra, India

1 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Dr. Hedgewar Smruti Rugna Seva Mandal's Dental College, Hingoli, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, PIMS, Rural Dental College, Loni, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Vasantdada Patil Dental College, Sangali, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kshipra Chandrakant Deshpande
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Dr. Hedgewar Smruti Rugna Seva Mandal's Dental College and Hospital, Basamba Phata, Akola Road, Hingoli - 431 513, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmd.ijmd_58_19

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Background: It has been well established by researchers that virtually all oral cancers are preceded by visible clinical changes in the oral mucosa mostly in the form of white or red patch. The prevention and early detection of such potentially malignant disorders (PMDs) have the potential of not only decreasing the incidence but also in improving the survival of those who develop oral cancer. The lack of knowledge and awareness of public about the signs, symptoms, and risk factors is responsible for the diagnostic delay in identifying the PMDs. This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge, awareness, and practices in relation to the early detection of PMDs. Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional, community-based survey where 600 participants were enrolled in the study. A semi-structured preset, pretested questionnaire was used to elicit information about tobacco-associated oral habits, their knowledge and awareness toward PMDs, and to elicit information regarding practices in relation to these deleterious oral effects. The results obtained were statistically analyzed using the SPSS (version 11) software and Chi-square test. Results: This study showed that there is a lack of knowledge and awareness about the early signs and common symptoms of PMDs. The level of knowledge and awareness was directly proportional to the education level, whereas it was inversely proportional to the prevalence of risk habit. Conclusion: Lack of knowledge and awareness of early signs of oral cancer and oral PMDs was observed in studied population. As their general awareness about oral cancer and oral PMDs was good, a redirection of focus is warranted toward implementing intensive oral health education programs for the recognition of risk habits, warning signs of PMDs, and early detection of oral cancer.

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