Orofacial Crohn’s disease: a Case Report

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Damla Tuncer Budanur1 / Merve Şirin2 / Elif Sepet1 / Meral Ünür2 / Mine Güllüoğlu3 / Mustafa Serdar Cantez4 / Özlem Durmaz Uğurcan4

1Istanbul University, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Istanbul, Turkey
2Istanbul University, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Istanbul, Turkey
3 Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Istanbul, Turkey
4Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Istanbul, Turkey


Background: Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the two major relapsing conditions of inflammatory bowel diseases. Case Report: A case of Crohn’s disease with orofacial manifestations in a 10 year old girl is described. She had suffered from fever, dysphagia, arthralgia, painful recurrent ulcers of the oral mucosa and swelling of the lower lip lasting over 6 weeks. Clinical examination and the punch biopsy from the buccal mucosa revealed major recurrent aphthous ulcerations. A partial regression and significant relief of lesions were achieved two weeks after the treatment, but the patient suffered from abdominal pain, irregular bowel movements, arthritis, multiple hyperplastic and swollen mucosal folds, after 3 months. The patient was referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy showed pyloric ulcer formation. Abdominal ultrasound showed increased thickening of the ileal wall with multiple enlarged lympadenopathies in the periileal region. Colonoscopy images showed deep ulcers with surrounding erythema. The histopathological examination of biopsies from the terminal ileum and the colon showed basal plasmacytosis, minimal crypt distortions and aphthous ulcerations. The diagnosis of Orofacial Crohn’s disease was made. Exclusive enteral nutrition for 8 weeks, followed by azathiopurine treatment was started with an excellent clinical response on abdominal and oral symptoms. Conclusion: Diagnosis of the disease by dentists and other clinicians through the evaluation of oral clinical findings is very rare. Mucocutaneous and granulomatous lesions of the oral cavity should alert the clinician to pursue an underlying systemic cause. Early communication with a gastroenterologist can help early diagnosis of Crohn’s disease for better patient management and prognosis.

Keywords: Crohn’s Disease; Orofacial Granulomatosis; Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Recurrent Aphthous Ulcerations; Oral Lesions


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Citation Information: Balkan Journal of Dental Medicine, ISSN (Online) 2335-0245, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bjdm-2017-0021. Export Citation