Risk of Tooth Loss After Cigarette Smoking Cessation
Krall Kaye, Elizabeth
Nunn, Martha E.
Garcia, Raul I.
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CitationKrall Kaye, Elizabeth, Thomas Dietrich, Martha E Nunn, Raul I Garcia. "Risk of Tooth Loss After Cigarette Smoking Cessation" Preventing Chronic Disease 3(4). (2006)
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.