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Gastrointestinal diseases and their oro-dental manifestations: Part 2: Ulcerative colitis

Key Points

  • A limited number of studies reported widely varying prevalence rates of oral signs and symptoms in patients with ulcerative colitis.

  • The most pathognomonic oral sign is pyostomatitis vegetans, but also other abnormalities as oral ulcerations, caries and periodontitis are more frequently observed in patients with ulcerative colitis.

  • Patients with ulcerative colitis need special attention from dental clinicians.


Ulcerative colitis is a rather common inflammatory bowel disease, especially in the industrialised world. A limited number of studies have reported the prevalence of oral signs and symptoms in these patients, and widely varying prevalence rates have been reported ranging from 2 to 34%. Pyostomatitis vegetans is the most pathognomonic oral sign but also other abnormalities as oral ulcerations, caries and periodontitis are more often seen in patients with ulcerative colitis. In this review we describe the oral manifestations of ulcerative colitis and their potential dental implications.

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Figure 1: Histologic slide of the colon mucosa during active disease shows typical crypt abscesses and crypt irregularities.
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Figure 5: Pyostomatitis vegetans (courtesy of Dr J.
Figure 6


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Correspondence to H. S. Brand.

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Tan, C., Brand, H., de Boer, N. et al. Gastrointestinal diseases and their oro-dental manifestations: Part 2: Ulcerative colitis. Br Dent J 222, 53–57 (2017).

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