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J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2011 Jan;15(1):14-21. doi: 10.4103/0973-029X.80032.

Tooth decay in alcohol and tobacco abusers.

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1
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Ragas Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alcohol and tobacco abuse are detrimental to general and oral health. Though the effects of these harmful habits on oral mucosa had been demonstrated, their independent and combined effect on the dental caries experience is unknown and worthy of investigation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We compared 268 alcohol-only abusers with 2426 alcohol and tobacco abusers in chewing and smoking forms to test the hypothesis that various components of their dental caries experience are significantly different due to plausible sociobiological explanations. Clinical examination, Decay, Missing, Filled Teeth (DMFT) Index and Oral Hygiene Index - Simplified were measured in a predetermined format. Descriptive statistics, Chi-square test and one-way ANOVA analysis were done using SPSS Version 16.0.

RESULT:

The mean DMFT were 3.31, 3.24, 4.09, 2.89 for alcohol-only abusers, alcohol and chewing tobacco abusers, smoking tobacco and alcohol abusers, and those who abused tobacco in smoke and smokeless forms respectively. There was no significant difference between the oral hygiene care measures between the study groups. Presence of attrition among chewers and those with extrinsic stains experienced less caries than others.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:

The entire study population exhibited a higher incidence of caries experience. Use of tobacco in any form appears to substantially increase the risk for dental caries. Attrition with use of chewing tobacco and presence of extrinsic stains with tobacco use appear to provide a protective effect from caries. The changes in oral micro-flora owing to tobacco use and alcohol may play a critical role in the initiation and progression of dental caries.

KEYWORDS:

Dental caries; India; alcohol; tobacco

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