Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 1913–1917 | Cite as

Evaluation of light-touch sensation in the buccal mucosa of leprosy patients

  • S. N. Marta
  • C. Sgavioli
  • P. P. Saraiva
  • R. S. Carvalho
  • M. G. A. Nogueira
  • F. C. Monti
  • M. VirmondEmail author
Original Article



The aim of this study is to evaluate the light-touch sensation of the oral mucosa in leprosy patients.

Materials and methods

A cross-sectional study included 228 adults, 133 being leprosy patients and 95 normal controls. To assess light-touch sensation, the five-filament standard Semmes–Weinstein kit in eight regions of the oral mucosa was used. Chi-square test was used to verify the differences in responses between the studied groups.


Normal sensation was predominant in both groups, and diminished sensation was found also in the nonleprosy group. Normal controls showed diminished light-touch sensation in at least one point, which may be attributed to the definition of sensation normality. The chi-square test revealed no significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.43171). Severe diminished sensation was detected only in the leprosy group.


It is concluded that altered light-touch sensation in the oral cavity may not be a common feature in leprosy.

Clinical relevance

Decreased or lost sensation in skin lesions is a paramount in leprosy diagnosis; however, clinicians must be aware that this seems not to be true in the oral mucosa in leprosy cases for diagnosis purpose.


Buccal mucosa Leprosy Semmes–Weinstein filament Sensory test Oral physiology 



This study was partially supported by the Paulista Foundation Against Leprosy.

Conflicts of interest

No conflicts of interest declared.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. N. Marta
    • 1
  • C. Sgavioli
    • 1
  • P. P. Saraiva
    • 1
  • R. S. Carvalho
    • 1
  • M. G. A. Nogueira
    • 1
  • F. C. Monti
    • 2
  • M. Virmond
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Dentistry School, Graduate StudiesSacred Hearth UniversityBauruBrazil
  2. 2.School of MedicineFederal University of Sao CarlosSao CarlosBrazil
  3. 3.Rehabilitation CenterLauro Souza Lima Research InstituteBauruBrazil

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