The effect of cigarette smoking on gingival bleeding

Thomas Dietrich, JP Bernimoulin, RJ Glynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

128 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to investigate the dose-dependent effect of cigarette smoking upon gingival bleeding on probing (BOP) in a large representative sample of the United States population (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III). METHODS: Weighted multiple logistic regression was used to model bleeding on probing of 141,967 mesio-buccal sites in 12,385 individuals with complete case records on all covariates. Adjustments were made for age, gender, race/ethnicity, number of missing teeth, tooth type/jaw, root caries, full crown coverage, socioeconomic status (poverty/income ratio), and survey characteristics. The model stratified by presence of calculus (CALC) and increased probing depth (PD > or = 4 mm). Generalized estimating equations were used to account for dependence of sites within subjects. RESULTS: Smoking had a strong suppressive effect on gingival bleeding. The effect was strongest in heavier smokers (> 10 cigarettes/day) and smallest in former smokers. In healthy sites (no CALC, PD <or = 3 mm), the odds ratio (OR) of bleeding for sites in heavier smokers compared to never-smokers was 0.56 (95% CI: 0.45-0.70). Sites with CALC and/or PD > or = 4 mm were more likely to bleed in never-smokers (OR: 5.7; 95% CI: 4.3-7.6). This relationship was less evident among heavier smokers (OR: 1.3; 95% CI: 0.8-1.9). The effect of smoking did not differ between maxillary and mandibular molars, premolars, or incisors. CONCLUSION: Smoking exerts a strong, chronic, and dose-dependent suppressive effect on gingival bleeding on probing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Periodontology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of cigarette smoking on gingival bleeding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this