Leukemic Oral Manifestations and their Management


Bauru School of Dentistry, University of Sao Paulo, Department of Biological Sciences, Bauru, SP, Brazil


Leukemia is the most common neoplastic disease of the white blood cells which is important as a pediatric malignancy. Oral manifestations occur frequently in leukemic patients and may present as initial evidence of the disease or its relapse. The symptoms include gingival enlargement and bleeding, oral ulceration, petechia, mucosal pallor, noma, trismus and oral infections. Oral lesions arise in both acute and chronic forms of all types of leukemia. These oral manifestations either may be the result of direct infiltration of leukemic cells (primary) or secondary to underlying thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, or impaired granulocyte function. Despite the fact that leukemia has long been known to be associated with oral lesions, the available literature on this topic consists mostly of case reports, without data summarizing the main oral changes for each type of leukemia. Therefore, the present review aimed at describing oral manifestations of all leukemia types and their dental management. This might be useful in early diagnosis, improving patient outcomes.