Tongue lesions and anomalies in a sample of Yemeni dental patients: A cross-sectional study.

Mohammed Ali Al-Wesabi, Manal Al-Hajri, Anas Shamala, Saba Al-Sanaani


Background: Tongue examination helps considerably in diagnosing the underlying health state of the patient, especially in the cases of chronic diseases. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence and association of tongue lesions with risk factors among Yemeni dental patients. Materials and methods: An oral medicine specialist examined all 713 patients attending the dental polyclinics at the University of Sciences and Technology (Sana’a, Yemen). The examination sheet was designed to include information related to patient characteristics, medical history, dental history, habits, and tongue lesions. Results: The prevalence of tongue lesions among the examined participants was 76.5%. The prevalence rate was 83.4% for males and 69.2% for females. Fissured tongue was the most common condition. Logistic regression analysis indicated that older age (p<0.001), gender (p=0.007), khat chewing (p<0.001), and smoking (p=0.001) were associated with fissured tongue; gender (p<0.001), khat chewing (p<0.001), and smoking (p<0.001) were associated with hairy tongue; and older age (p<0.001), khat chewing (p=0.001), and smoking (p=.021) were associated with coated tongue. Conclusion: The prevalence of tongue lesions among this sample of Yemeni population was 76.5%; fissured tongue and hairy tongue were the most prevalent lesions. Khat chewing, smoking, and older age were the associated risk factors for many of studied lesions and anomalies.


Prevalence; dental patients; fissured tongue; hairy tongue; khat chewing.


Sunil A, Kurien J, Mukunda A, Basheer A, Deepthi. Common superficial tongue lesions. Indian J Clin Pract. 2013;23(9):534–42.

Mu L, Sanders I. Human tongue neuroanatomy: Nerve supply and motor endplates. Clin Anat. 2010;23(7):777–91.

Raman P, Krithika CL, Anandi MS, Kanmani R, Kannan A, Raghuram PH. Prevalence of Tongue Lesions in Tobacco and Non-tobacco users of OPD, SRM Dental College, Chennai: A Cross-Sectional Study. Int J Adv Health Sci. 2015;1(10):1–5.

Cohen BA. Pediatric Dermatology. 4st Ed. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier; 2013.

Santosh P, Nidhi S, Sumita K, Farzan R, Bharati D, Ashok K. Oral findings in postmenopausal women attending dental hospital in Western part of India. J Clin Exp Dent. 2013;5(1):e8–e12.

Lo LC, Chen CY, Chiang JY, Cheng TL, Lin HJ, Chang HH. Tongue diagnosis of traditional Chinese medicine for rheumatoid arthritis. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2013;10(5):360–9.

Picciani BL, Souza TT, Santos Vde C, Domingos TA, Carneiro S, Avelleira JC, Azulay DR, Pinto JM, Dias EP. Geographic tongue and fissured tongue in 348 patients with psoriasis: correlation with disease severity. ScientificWorldJournal. 2015;2015:564326.

Fuoad SA, Prasad P. Fissured Tongue In Psoriatic Patient- A Case Report. RRJDS. 2014;2(1):1–4.

Zargari O. The prevalence and significance of fissured tongue and geographical tongue in psoriatic patients. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2006;31(2):192–5.

Nandini DB, Bhavana SB, Deepak BS, Ashwini R. Paediatric Geographic Tongue: A Case Report, Review and Recent Updates. J Clin Diagn Res. 2016;10(2):ZE05–9.

Gurvits GE, Tan A. Black hairy tongue syndrome. World J Gastroenterol. 2014;20(31):10845–50.

Balaji G, Maharani B, Ravichandran V, Parthasarathi T. Linezolid induced black hairy tongue. Indian J Pharmacol. 2014;46(6):653–4.

Shinoda M, Takeda M, Honda K, Maruno M, Katagiri A, Satoh-Kuriwada S, Shoji N, Tsuchiya M, Iwata K. Involvement of peripheral artemin signaling in tongue pain: possible mechanism in burning mouth syndrome. Pain. 2015;156(12):2528–37.

Balasubramaniam R, Klasser GD, Delcanho R. Separating oral burning from burning mouth syndrome: unravelling a diagnostic enigma. Aust Dent J. 2009;54(4):293–9.

Spanemberg JC, Cherubini K, de Figueiredo MA, Yurgel LS, Salum FG. Aetiology and therapeutics of burning mouth syndrome: an update. Gerodontology. 2012;29(2):84–9.

Monteiro LS, Amaral JB, Vizcaíno JR, Lopes CA, Torres FO. A clinical-pathological and survival study of oral squamous cell carcinomas from a population of the North of Portugal. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2014;19(2):e120–6.

Nakaguchi T, Takeda K, Ishikawa Y, Oji T, Yamamoto S, Tsumura N, Ueda K, Nagamine K, Namiki T, Miyake Y. Proposal for a new noncontact method for measuring tongue moisture to assist in tongue diagnosis and development of the tongue image analyzing system, which can separately record the gloss components of the tongue. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:249609.

Mansour Ghanaei F, Joukar F, Rabiei M, Dadashzadeh A, Kord Valeshabad A. Prevalence of Oral Mucosal Lesions in an Adult Iranian Population. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2013;15(7):600–4.

Ali M, Al-Wesabi M, Md Isa Z. Knowledge, Attitude and Practice on Preventive Dentistry among Senior Dental Students in Yemen. Int J Public Health Res. 2015;5(1):560–8.

Byahatti SM, Ingafou MS. The prevalence of tongue lesions in Libyan adult patients. J Clin Exp Dent. 2010;2(4):163–8.

Bhattacharya PT, Sinha R, Pal S. Prevalence and subjective knowledge of tongue lesions in an Indian population. J Oral Biol Craniofac Res. 2016;6(2):124–8.

Raman P, Krithika CL, Anandi MS, Kanmani P, Kannan A, Raghuram PH. Prevalence of Tongue Lesions in Tobacco and Non-tobacco users of OPD, SRM Dental College, Chennai: A Cross-Sectional Study. Int J Adv Health Sci. 2015;1(10):1–5.

Al-Mobeeriek A, AlDosari AM. Prevalence of oral lesions among Saudi dental patients. Ann Saudi Med. 2009;29(5):365–8.

Bánóczy J, Rigó O, Albrecht M. Prevalence study of tongue lesions in a Hungarian population. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1993;21(4):224–6.

Byahatti SM, Ingafou MS. The Prevalence of Tongue Lesions in Libyan Adult Patients. J Clin Exp Dent. 2010;2(4):e163–8.

Yarom N, Cantony U, Gorsky M. Prevalence of fissured tongue, geographic tongue and median rhomboid glossitis among Israeli adults of different ethnic origins. Dermatology. 2004;209(2):88–94.

Avcu N, Kanli A. The prevalence of tongue lesions in 5150 Turkish dental outpatients. Oral Dis. 2003;9(4):188–95.

Ugar-Cankal D, Denizci S, Hocaoglu T. Prevalence of tongue lesions among Turkish schoolchildren. Saudi Med J. 2005;26(12):1962–7.

Darwazeh AM, Almelaih AA. Tongue lesions in a Jordanian population. Prevalence, symptoms, subject's knowledge and treatment provided. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2011;16(6):e745–9.

Jainkittivong A, Aneksuk V, Langlais RP. Tongue lesions: prevalence and association with gender, age and health-affected behaviors. CU Dent J. 2007;30:269–78.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Corresponding: Facultad de Odontología, Universidad de Concepción, Chile. Roosevelt 1550, Concepción, Chile. Phone +56-41-2204232 - Fax +56-41-2243311- Mailbox 160-C, Concepción, Chile. E-mail