INTRODUCTION: Little is known about the effect of cigarette smoking cessation on risk of tooth loss. We examined how risk of tooth loss changed with longer periods of smoking abstinence in a prospective study of oral health in men. METHODS: Research subjects were 789 men who participated in the Veterans Administration Dental Longitudinal Study from 1968 to 2004. Tooth status and smoking status were determined at examinations performed every 3 years, for a maximum follow-up time of 35 years. Risk of tooth loss subsequent to smoking cessation was assessed sequentially at 1-year intervals with multivariate proportional hazards regression models. Men who never smoked cigarettes, cigars, or pipes formed the reference group. Hazard ratios were adjusted for age, education, total pack-years of cigarette exposure, frequency of brushing, and use of floss. RESULTS: The hazard ratio for tooth loss was 2.1 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5-3.1) among men who smoked cigarettes during all or part of follow-up. Risk of tooth loss among men who quit smoking declined as time after smoking cessation increased, from 2.0 (95% CI, 1.4-2.9) after 1 year of abstinence to 1.0 (95% CI, 0.5-2.2) after 15 years of abstinence. The risk remained significantly elevated for the first 9 years of abstinence but eventually dropped to the level of men who never smoked after 13 or more years. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that smoking cessation is beneficial for tooth retention, but long-term abstinence is required to reduce the risk to the level of people who have never smoked.
|Journal||Preventing chronic disease|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2006|