STUDY BACKGROUND: Fluorosis is one of the manifestations of chronic poisoning from long-term exposure to high levels of fluoride. An estimated 62 million people in 17 states in India are affected with dental and skeletal fluorosis.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cytological morphology of exfoliated oral mucosal cells among various stages of fluorosis patients compared with controls.
DESIGN AND METHODS: Exfoliative cytology PAP-stained smears of 21 cases of fluorosis and 21 controls subjected to morphometric analysis using image Proplus software. For the assessment parameters like maximum and minimum diameter of the nucleus, cell and perimeter of the cell and nucleus were considered.
RESULTS: An increase in maximum and minimum diameter of nucleus, perimeter of nucleus and cell in cases when compared to controls.
CONCLUSIONS: Fluorosis induces oxidative stress, DNA damage and apoptosis which can be the reasons for the increase in the nuclear size and decrease in the cell size. Community dental and medical programmes should be stringently implemented in fluorosis-endemic areas, to create awareness regarding the toxic effects of fluoride to the body, especially within the oro-facial region.