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Journal of Cancer Prevention

Original Article

J Cancer Prev 2019; 24(1): 43-47

Published online March 30, 2019

© Korean Society of Cancer Prevention

Oral Health Status and Oral Health-related Quality of Life According to Presence or Absence of Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Yun-Sook Jung1,*, Eun-Young Park2,*, Hae-Ok Sohn3

1Department of Preventive Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University, 2Department of Dentistry, Yeungnam University Hospital, 3Department of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University Chilgok Hospital, Daegu, Korea

Correspondence to :
Hae-Ok Sohn
E-mail:, ORCID: Hae-Ok Sohn,

Received: February 7, 2019; Revised: February 27, 2019; Accepted: February 28, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Oral mucositis during radiotherapy which is harmful to the patients with head and neck is suggested to be related to the oral hygiene and health. Therefore, we evaluated the oral health status in relation to the occurrence of mucositis among patients with head and neck cancer during radiotherapy.


Tooth plaque index (PI), periodontal depth, and oral mucositis in 50 patients with head and neck cancer were examined by a dentist for 8 weeks after radiotherapy initiation. Cancer type and site were recorded based on the patients’ medical records. In addition, we assessed oral health-related quality of life.


The mean age of participants was 56.3 ± 11.6 years, with patients aged > 60 years comprising the largest proportion of the mucositis group. The median (range) of the PI index were 0 (0–3) and 1 (0–3) among participants with mucositis and those without, respectively, with no significant difference (P = 0.761). The median (range) of the total Oral Health Impact Profile score were 54 (42–58) and 41 (14–70) among participants without mucositis and those with mucositis, respectively (P = 0.037).


This study showed that patients who developed mucositis during radiotherapy had lower oral health-related quality of life than those who did not. However, there was no difference in oral health status according to mucositis.

Keywords: Oral health, Head and neck neoplasms, Stomatitis

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