• oral biopsied lesions;
  • oral mucosa lesions;
  • elderly;
  • malignant epithelial tumours;
  • denture-based oral lesions

Objective:  To perform an oral biopsy survey focused on the incidence of oral lesions in Brazilian elderly patients.

Methods:  A total of 17 329 oral biopsy records were analysed and divided into two age groups: elderly patients, ≥60 years old; and non-elderly patients, <60 years old. Information about sex, race, age and histopathological diagnosis (categorised in non-neoplastic and neoplastic lesions) was collected. Differences of diagnosis incidence were tested by comparison between two proportions (binomial test).

Results:  The incidence of epithelial malignant neoplasms and pre-malignant lesions in the elderly group was higher than non-elderly group, as well as autoimmune diseases and salivary gland tumours. The three most prevalent lesions in the elderly group were inflammatory fibrous hyperplasia, squamous cell carcinoma, and fibroma.

Conclusion:  The distribution of oral diseases using biopsies allows greater accuracy in data about oral health of elderly patients, especially when considering malignant and pre-malignant lesions.