Article

Tooth follicle extirpation and uvulectomy.

The Centre for Rural and Remote Oral Health, The University of Western Australia.
Australian Dental Journal (Impact Factor: 1.37). 01/2006; 50(4):267-72. DOI:10.1111/j.1834-7819.2005.tb00372.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Migration is not only the movement of people, but also of their culture, customs and beliefs. As more people from developing countries in Africa migrate to industrialized countries, the more likely health professionals will find themselves providing care for people of whose customs and practices they have little knowledge. This review of the literature suggests that removal of deciduous canine follicles and uvulectomy are frequently practised in some African and neighbouring countries. Reasons given for deciduous canine extirpation include the prevention of vomiting, fever and diarrhoea. The indications for uvulectomy appear widespread, including treatment for persistent fever, coughing and growth retardation. The practices are usually performed by traditional healers. Risks for children who undergo these procedures are extensive, including septicaemia, potential for HIV transmission, numerous dental complications and death. With improved understanding between Western health teams and local, traditional people, an improved system may develop whereby the two systems can work together in providing improved health outcomes for the people.

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N L Johnston