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NCHS Data Brief. 2012 Feb;(85):1-8.

Smoking and oral health in dentate adults aged 18-64.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics 3311 Toledo Road, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782, USA.


This report shows that among dentate adults aged 18–64 there are differences in oral health status and oral health care utilization among current smokers, former smokers, and never smokers. Overall, current smokers had a poorer oral health status and more oral health problems than either former smokers or never smokers. Current smokers were also more likely to delay routine dental visits. When current smokers experienced a mouth or tooth problem, they were less likely to visit a dental health professional because they were unable to afford dental care than former smokers or never smokers. However, current smokers were more likely to think that their oral health problem was important. The evidence for an association between tobacco use and oral diseases has been clearly shown in every Surgeon General’s report on tobacco since 1964 (6). Tobacco use is a risk factor for oral cancers, periodontal diseases, and dental caries, among other diseases. Oral health problems may be early warning signs of other medical problems such as diabetes, HIV, heart disease, or stroke (6). Good oral health is integral to good general health.

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