Paediatric oral pathology in a Chilean population: a 15-year review

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There is only limited information available in Chile regarding the frequency of biopsied oral lesions in paediatric patients.


To determine the frequency of histologically diagnosed lesions in oral pathology specimens from paediatric patients in a Chilean population over a 15-year period.


Oral and maxillofacial biopsy records of patients aged 16 years or under were retrieved by visual inspection from the archives of public and private Oral Pathology Health Services in Valdivia, Chile, during the period 1995–2010. Records that contained anatomical site and histopathological diagnoses of the specimen were included. The study population was divided into three age groups according to dentition stage. Oral lesions were classified as inflammatory/reactive, cystic, or tumour/tumour-like.


A total of 542 biopsy specimens from children were found. These represented 20.6% of all oral biopsies. The average age was 11.1 years, with female predilection. The most common category of oral lesions was inflammatory/reactive (75.8%), followed by tumour/tumour-like (16.8%) and cystic (7.4%) lesions. The mucocele was the most commonly found lesion, followed by pyogenic granuloma and irritation fibroma, which taken together accounted for 63.8% of all paediatric oral biopsies. The most common localisation for lesions was the lower lip (50.3%).


The vast majority of oral lesions found were predominantly inflammatory/reactive and benign types, although malignant lesions can present themselves in children.

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