Oral submucous fibrosis: An update on current theories of pathogenesis

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Despite research spanning more than four decades on the epidemiology, histopathology and molecular biology/pathology, the pathogenesis of oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) (Figure 1) is still not fully understood.1 However, there is compelling evidence from the recent studies that OSMF is essentially a result of collagen dysregulation and areca nut plays a key role in causing changes at different stages of collagen metabolism.1 Studies have focused on increased synthesis or reduced collagen degradation as possible mechanisms in the development of the condition.1 Nevertheless, the pathogenesis of OSMF is not well established, and the mechanism of how areca nut exactly causes OSMF is still being elucidated.

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