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Mouth Ulcers and Secretor Type


Is there a relationship between secretor status and aphthous stomatitis?


In general, non-secretors predominate over secretors with regard to oral problems, this is probably the result of:

1. Not having any free blood type antigen in their saliva. Free blood type antigen blocks bacterial attachment to the tooth and gum surfaces.

2. Non-secretors have lower levels of secretory IgA an antibody which tends to protect the mucous membranes.

Although known from the 1960's this association has again been shown in a recent journal article:

J Oral Rehabil 1999 Feb;26(2):177-82

Examining the secretor status in the saliva of patients with oral pre-cancerous lesions.

Vidas I, Delajlija M, Temmer-Vuksan B, Stipetic-Mravak M, Cindric N, Maricic D.

Department of Stomatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka, Croatia.

It has been demonstrated in a number of earlier studies on the aetiology and pathogenesis of certain diseases that the patients' secretor status (ABO (H) blood group antigens) may possibly be a factor influencing the development of systemic oral diseases. This likelihood has prompted the present study, to examine the differences in the saliva secretor status by comparing patients with oral pre-cancerous lesions on the one hand, and the healthy population on the other; (i) in relation to the intensity of the clinical manifestation of diseases and (ii) in relation to the intensity of epithelial dysplasia of patients with oral pre-cancerous lesions. In total 122 subjects were examined, half of whom suffered from oral pre-cancerous lesions (excluding Candida albicans in oral smears), while the other half were the healthy control group. All were subjected to clinical oral examinations and standard evaluation tests in order to establish the secretor status of their saliva. In the group of patients with oral pre-cancerous lesions (experimental group), a pathohistological examination of the oral mucosa was performed. The results have demonstrated that the large majority of the people examined in both groups were secretors and no significant difference between secretors and non-secretors was found in the comparison between the experimental group and the healthy control group. However, (i) we found a higher intensity of oral disease in the non-secretor group, and (ii) the occurrence of epithelial dysplasia was found exclusively in the non-secretor group.

The Ask Dr. D'Adamo internet advice column ran from 1996 to 2009, at which time Dr. D'Adamo's teaching and programming responsibilities no longer allowed him to devote time and resources to directly answering visitor questions. However we've recently reorganized this treasure-trove of material and made it again available to his readership. He occasionally posts new entries. These are marked with a NEW tag.

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