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Oral Submucous Fibrosis

Oral Submucous Fibrosis

Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) is a chronic, complex, potentially malignant condition of the oral cavity characterized by fibrosis of the oral tissues. The condition is associated with areca nut or betel nut, pan, gutka and tobacco chewing.


  • The mucosa feels leathery with palpable fibrotic bands. In the advanced stage, the oral mucosa loses its resiliency and becomes blanched and stiff.
  • As the disease progresses, the person is unable to open the mouth protrude the tongue or swallow.
  • There is burning sensation to hot and spicy food.

Other features of the disease include

  • Recurrent ulceration
  • Pain in the ear or deafness
  • Nasal intonation of voice
  • Restriction of the movement of the soft palate
  • A bud-like shrunken uvula
  • Pigmentation of the oral mucosa
  • Dryness of the mouth

Line of management

Stopping all deleterous habits, oral prophylaxis, regular mouth stretching exercises and monitoring with regular follow up is important. Some with very poor mouth opening may be advised surgery to improve their condition.

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