ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the oral status, drinking, smoking, and oral hygiene habits of alcoholics. One hundred severely addicted alcoholics were examined during the in-patient treatment for detoxification (mean age: 44 years; 68 males/32 females) The study included a questionnaire and an oral examination that measured DMF-T, QHI, PBI, and CPI. The majority of alcoholics were heavy smokers (>30 cigarettes/day). Fifty-two percent of the alcoholics stated they frequently forgot to brush their teeth and 43% observed bleeding of their gums. The mean DMF-T was 20 (2 D-T, 9 M-T, 9 F-T), the mean QHI was 2.4, and the mean PBI was 1.8. Forty-nine percent of the sextants were scored CPI 3 or 4; about 25% were edentulous (CPI X). Our results indicate severe alcoholics have a high risk of periodontal break down and tooth loss. To what extent these findings were caused by general/oral neglect alone (in combination with nicotine abuse) is at present unknown.
The journal of contemporary dental practice 05/2003; 4(2):51-9.