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Dental and oral health status in drug abusers in Chennai, India: A cross-sectional study

Author(s): Rooban T | Rao Anita | Joshua Elizabeth | Ranganathan K

Journal: Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
ISSN 0973-029X

Volume: 12;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 16;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Drug abuse | oral health | oral precancer

Aim: To ascertain the oral health status and dental health status of drug abusers (DA) and compare them with those of non-drug-abusing dental patients. Design: Hospital-based cross-sectional study. Setting and Participants: Hundred consecutive male DA attending rehabilitation center for drug abuse and age-matched 100 non-drug abusers attending the outpatient department of a dental college hospital. Measurements: Detailed history and clinical findings were recorded in a predetermined format by trained physician and dental surgeons. Data entry and statistical analysis were done using SPSS 10.0.5 ® Variables: Oral mucosal lesions (OML), dental lesions (DL), ′decay, missing, filling teeth′ index (DMFT), brushing material (toothpaste/others), mode (toothbrush/others), and frequency per day (once/twice). Results: The occurrence of at least one oral mucosal lesion was 49% in drug abusers and 6% in controls, the difference being statistically significant ( P = 0.00). In brushing habits, DL were significantly associated with brushing material ( P = 0.005) and frequency ( P = 0.001) when a comparison was made between DA and controls. The difference of ≤7 in the DMFT score between DA and controls in relation to material used for brushing ( P = 0.04) and frequency of brushing ( P = 0.001) was statistically significant. For any oral mucosal lesion, odds ratio (OR) was 15.1 (95% CI, 6-37.5); for any potentially malignant states, OR was 54.4 (95% CI, 3.2-911.3); for dental caries, the OR was 3.3 (95% CI, 1.8-5.9); and the OR for extrinsic stains was 8 (95% CI, 2.7-24). Conclusion: A large gap exists with respect to dental and oral health status between DA and the general population. DA are at 54.4 times higher risk for having a potentially malignant state. These factors highlight the need for regular oral examination and dental treatment in DA.

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