INTRODUCTION: Fluoride has been described to be physiologically essential for the normal development and growth of human beings. However, it is well known that excessive fluoride causes skeletal, nonskeletal and dental complications. Therefore, outlining the cytogenetic effects induced by fluorosis is necessary.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the cytomorphology of exfoliated oral mucosal cells among various concentrations of fluoride.
STUDY DESIGN: Study group comprised of 12 Albino Wistar rats, categorized into A,B and C groups (fed with 25 ppm,50 ppm and 100 ppm concentration of NaF), each group consisting of 4 rats, with 4 controls (fed with 1ppm concentration of NaF in distilled water). Each group was fed for a period of 42 days.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cytological smears were taken from the buccal mucosa of each group after 42 days of fluoride administration. The samples were stained with the papanicolaou method and assessed for Cytomorphometrical changes in maximum diameter of nucleus, minimum diameter of nucleus, perimeter of the nucleus, maximum diameter of the cell, minimum diameter of the cell and perimeter of the cell by image analysis software and the results were statistically analysed using SPSS software.
RESULTS: Mean values of maximum diameter, minimum diameter and perimeter of the nucleus increased in fluoride induced study groups when compared to controls and the results showed that p-value was statistically significant (p-value: 0.000, 0.001). Mean value of maximum diameter, minimum diameter and perimeter of the cell decreased in fluoride induced subjects when compared with controls which were statistically not significant (p-value: 0.791, 0.600 & 0.719). A continuous increase in the nuclear size and decrease in the cell size was identified in fluoride induced groups as compared to controls.
CONCLUSION: The observations of our present study revealed that cellular changes occur with severity of fluorosis. These cellular morphological changes may possibly eventuate into dysplastic alterations, which can progress to malignant changes.