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Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 239-241

Effect of areca nut chewing and maximal mouth opening in schoolgoing children in Ahmedabad

Physiotherapy Department of SBB College, VS General Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Azizfatema Munawer Khan
38 Tube Welex Near Sungan Cinema, Sarkhej, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5851.195734

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Context: Areca nut is chewed by itself and in various scented preparations. Areca nut chewing is widely practiced in many parts of Asia, including India. Users often consider it harmless and report a sense of well-being, but evidence has shown that it is far from harmless and can have multiple oral health implications such as oral submucosal fibrosis posing difficulty in opening mouth and carcinogenesis. Studies in India have reported increasing prevalence of this habit among schoolgoing children. The objectives of the study were to find the effect of areca nut chewing on mouth opening, compare it with the children not having this habit, and to find correlation between maximal mouth opening (MMO) and months of areca nut chewing. Aims: The aim of this study is to find the effect of areca nut chewing on MMO in schoolgoing children in Ahmedabad. Settings and Design: An observational analytical study was conducted across various schools of Ahmedabad. Subjects and Methods: A total of eighty male students of 12–14-year-old were included in the study. Group A included children having the habit of eating areca nut for 6 months or more, and Group B had children who did not have the habit of areca nut chewing. Children who had just started eating for <6 months were excluded from the study. MMO was calculated as distance from the edge of the upper incisor teeth to the edge of the lower incisor teeth using a calibrated fiber ruler. Statistical Analysis Used: Statistical analysis was performed by SPSS software version 20.0, with level of significance set at 5%. Results: Mean and standard deviation of MMO for Group A was 3.69 ± 0.5 cm and for Group B was 4.46 ± 0.4 cm. Statistically significant difference was found using Mann–Whitney U-test with U = 239.500 and P = 0.0001. Pearson's coefficient r = −0.623 and P = 0.0001 showed moderate correlation between months of chewing and MMO. The mean duration of chewing was found to be 1.5 years. Conclusion: There is difference in MMO between children chewing areca nut and not chewing it with a moderate correlation between months of eating areca nut and MMO.

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