Oral Fibrosis or oral submucous fibrosis or OSMF is a chronic, complex, pre-malignant condition of oral cavity in which there is inflammatory reaction and progressive fibrosis of submucosal tissues. As the condition progresses the patient is unable to open mouth as the jaws get rigid. The condition is associated with chewing of areca nut/betel quid.

In the initial phase of the disease, the mucosa feels leathery with palpable fibrotic bands. In the advanced stage the oral mucosa loses its resiliency and becomes blanched and stiff. The disease is believed to begin in the posterior part of the oral cavity and gradually spread outward.

Features of the disease include: 

  • Xerostomia/ decreased salivation 
  • Burning mouth 
  • 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 
  • Thinning and stiffening of the lips 
  • Pigmentation of the oral mucosa 
  • Dryness of the mouth and burning sensation 
  • Decreased mouth opening and tongue protrusion

Treatment includes: 

  • Quit habit of  chewing areca nut (also known as betel nut) and tobacco 
  • Minimizing the consumption of spicy foods, including chilies 
  • Maintaining proper oral hygiene
  • Supplementing the diet with foods rich in vitamins A, B complex, and C and iron 
  • Forgoing hot fluids like tea, coffee 
  • Forgoing alcohol
  • Employing a dental surgeon to round off sharp teeth and extract third molars 
  • Mouth opening exercises 
  • Medication such as topical steroids, intralesional  injections, multi-vitamin tablets
  • Surgery in advanced cases need oral surgical treatment