Ali Kaid Khalid Al-Sharabi*
Associate professor of Periodontology Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sana'a, Yemen
Introduction: Takhzeen al-qat is the term used locally to describe the process of qat chewing among Yemenis1. The plant of Qat (Catha Edulis) was probably introduced to Yemen from Ethiopia by Muslim Sufis in the 15th century2. The plant spread slowly over time covering the whole country in early 20th century. Qat use exploded in Yemen in 1970s among men and used for 1st time by women3. National Qat Conference, 2002, reported that 90% and 20% of adult men and women respectively were regular qat chewers4. Qat use also increased in many African countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia5. Globally, qat use spread by African and Arab immigrants to many European countries, USA, China and Australia6. People use qat to get some psycho stimulant effects resulted from Cathinone, the most active ingredient7. In the literature, several reports have been extensively reviewed all health adverse effects of qat chewing on different human body systems 8-11. Also, the adverse effects of qat chewing habit on different oral tissues such
as oral mucosa, periodontium and on oral pathogens had been reported12-20.. This study is part of the ongoing research to elaborate further on those effects on oral and para oral tissues. The aim of this study was to estimate the risk of TMJ click and pain due to Takhzeen al-qat (Qat chewing) among Yemenis.
Materials and Methods:
The design of the study was hospital based cross sectional. Subjects recruited from patients reported randomly to dental clinics in 2 government hospitals in Sana'a city during the period 2004-2008. Inclusion criteria included; age 18-60, qat chewer for 3 years minimum and chewed on one side of their mouths only. A direct pre coded interview questionnaire included: Personal data: age, sex, residence and any special dietary habit. Chewing information: chewer/non chewer, oral side of chewing, age of starting the habit, duration of the habit/years, frequency of chewing in days/week and the average period of each qat session/hours. The clinical status of TMJ was assessed according to WHO criteria (WHO, 1997)21. This was done first by asking the subject to open and close his/her mouth many times, when examiner was standing exactly