Tooth follicle extirpation and uvulectomy

The Centre for Rural and Remote Oral Health, The University of Western Australia.
Australian Dental Journal (Impact Factor: 1.1). 01/2006; 50(4):267-72. DOI: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2005.tb00372.x
Source: PubMed


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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    • "The peak age group which reported such practice has been 4–18 months of age [9]. A study conducted by Ngilisho LA et al. in 1994 in five villages of Tanzania found that most of the traditional villagers were trained by their father or grandfather and the tradition has passed on in family [7]. The traditional healers also believed that they treated on average at least 3 dental patients per month. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cosmopolitan cities have become a pool of migrants from different parts of the world, who carry their cultural beliefs and superstitions with them around the globe. Canine gouging is a kind of infant oral mutilation (IOM) which is widely practiced among rural population of Africa where the primary tooth bud of the deciduous canine is enucleated. The belief is that the life threatening illnesses in children like vomiting, diarrhoea, and fevers are caused by worms which infest on tooth buds. This case report is of a 15-year-old Somalian born boy, who presented at the dental institute with intermittent pain in his lower right permanent canine which was associated with a discharging intra oral buccal sinus. The tooth was endodontically treated and then restored with composite. General dental practitioners need to be vigilant when encountered with tooth presenting unusual morphology, unilateral missing tooth, and shift in the midline due to early loss of deciduous/permanent canines. Identification of any such dental mutilation practice will need further counselling of the individual and family members. It is the duty of every dental professional to educate and safeguard the oral and dental health of general public.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015
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    • "Presumed alleviation of fever and diarrhea are at the basis for the common practice of tooth bud extraction in young children, common in African countries [1-5,7-11]. In a study of 1050 children and their parents, Kikuilu et al. reported that the major symptoms that led parents to turn to a traditional healer were: persistent fever, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, failure to suckle, and crying with unknown cause [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The custom of canine bud removal has detrimental consequences on children's general health and dental care. The objective of this study was to assess whether the prevalence of missing primary canines and dental defects in offspring of emigrants from Ethiopia is greater than in offspring of native Israeli parents of similar socioeconomic class. 477 children of Ethiopian descent and 317 offspring of native Israeli parents, from 21 nursery schools and kindergartens, underwent dental examinations aimed to determine the presence or absence of primary canines and of developmental enamel defects on adjacent teeth to the primary canines. For purposes of analysis, children were classified into two age groups: younger (ages 18--48 months) and older (ages 49--82 months). Canines were present in more Israeli than Ethiopian younger children, 87.5% vs. 42.3%, p=0.0001; and in more Israeli than Ethiopian older children, 92.6% vs. 40.4%, p=0.0001. More dental defects were detected in Ethiopian than in Israeli younger children, 32% vs. 3.9%, p=0.0001; and in more Ethiopian than Israeli older children, 31.2% vs. 5.8%, p=0.0001. The prevalence of missing primary canines and dental defects was greater among offspring of parents who had emigrated from Ethiopia 15--20 years earlier than among offspring of native Israeli parents living in the same low socioeconomic neighborhoods.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · BMC Oral Health
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    • "Cutting equipments are not cleaned and/or sterilized, and there have been reported cases of use in upwards of 10 patients in a single session, therefore exposing individuals to complications such as hemorrhage, anemia, septicemia, tetanus, risk of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection, and death [6] [7] [8]. These practices are still rampant and unchecked in our environment despite attempts made at discouraging it over the years. "
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    ABSTRACT: Traditional healers in Nigeria continue to perform uvulectomy for all throat problems despite the severe complications they present to physicians. It is a hospital-based prospective study done at the outpatient unit of the Department of Otolaryngology, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria to determine the prevalence of traditional uvulectomy, highlighting the dangers it portends with suggested ways of providing improved health outcomes for our people. We saw 517 new cases of which 165 (32%) patients aged 2 years to 53 years had their uvulae amputated consisting of 108 (65.5%) males and 57 (34.5%) females giving a male to female ratio of 2 : 1. One hundred and forty two (86.1%) patients had uvulectomy at childhood and 23 (13.9%) in adulthood. The commonest indication was throat pain (n = 36, 21.8%). The commonest complication was hemorrhage (n = 29, 17.6%). Forty six (27.9%) patients required hospital admission.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011
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