Send to

Choose Destination
J Oral Pathol. 1985 Sep;14(8):654-65.

A histological analysis of the early effects of alcohol and tobacco usage on human lingual epithelium.


Macroscopically normal tongues were examined from 161 necropsies. Two types of lingual epithelium were investigated by morphometry and the results were statistically analysed in relation to known levels of alcohol and tobacco usage in each case. Alcohol and tobacco were each associated with a reduction in epithelial thickness brought about by a reduction in the maturation layer due mainly to cell shrinkage. By contrast, the progenitor layer increased in size, due to hypertrophy rather than hyperplasia. Changes occurred in each type of epithelium and were more severe with alcohol. There was no significant interaction between alcohol and tobacco. The structural changes appeared to be non-specific reactions to local toxic effects of alcohol and tobacco. They could, if accompanied by equivalent functional decrements, indicate an increased vulnerability to carcinogens, whether or not these derive from alcoholic drinks or tobacco smoke.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center