The effect of alcohol on the oral mucosa was assessed using quantitative cytomorphology applied to smears taken from clinically normal oral mucosa of patients attending an alcohol problem unit and results were compared to a control group (consisting of social and non-drinkers) attending a hospital for routine dental care. Smears were stained using the Papanicolaou method and the nuclear and cell boundaries of 50 randomly selected cells traced and mean areas (NA and CA, respectively) calculated. The average number of units of alcohol consumed were recorded for each group together with relevant blood tests. The alcohol group was further subdivided into 'binge' and 'regular' drinkers. No significant differences were found between mean NA and mean CA values for these two types of alcohol drinkers, despite a marked difference in weekly units consumed. However, a statistically significant reduction in mean cytoplasmic area (P<0.001) and mean nuclear area (P<0.01) was found for the alcohol group when compared to controls. In conclusion, excess alcohol intake may influence results for quantitative oral cytomorphology. Further research is indicated on the relative effects of alcohol (both topical and systemic).
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - May 1999|