December 2012

Volume 29, Issue 4

Dental health of Irish alcohol/drug abuse treatment centre residents

Authors: E.M. O’Sullivan
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2888OSullivan05


Objectives: This study examines the independent and combined impact of ‘alcohol only’ and ‘alcohol plus drug’ abuse on the dental health of Irish alcohol/drug abuse treatment centre residents, comparing their dental caries experience. Methods: Four Irish treatment centres were visited periodically over a year. Data was collected on residents’ alcohol, tobacco and drug habits. Participants underwent comprehensive oral examination. Results: Of 210 participants (148 males and 62 females), 53% reported an ‘alcohol plus drug’ abuse; 44% had an ‘alcohol-only’ abuse. ‘Drug-only’ abusers (n=7) were excluded. Ages ranged from 18-73 with 59% aged under 40. ‘Alcohol-only’ abusers were significantly older than “alcohol plus drugs” abusers (p<0.001). Mean DMFT (14.4, sd 7.3) and MT scores (7.3, sd 6.8) were above the national averages. “Alcohol-only” abusers had higher DMFT scores (p<0.001), more missing teeth (p<0.001) and more filled teeth (p<0.01) than “drugs plus alcohol” abusers. DT scores did not vary significantly between study groups. Multivariate analysis confirmed the significance of gender (males OR=2.31, p=0.009) on DT scores and highly significant influence of age (age≤36, OR=0.08, p<0.001) on MT status. However, study group was not a significant influence once age was taken into consideration. Conclusions: The study reveals a high level of dental disease among Irish alcohol/drug abusers. While some authors have suggested that ‘alcohol-only’ abusers may experience less decay than ‘alcohol plus drug’ abusers, this study found no significant difference in the caries experience of the two groups once age was taken into consideration. Key words: drug abuse, alcoholics, dental health survey, dental caries, DMF index, tooth loss, Ireland

£10 single article

Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial - Do we really need another system for recording caries? Thoughts on ICDAS 258-259 £10 single article
Dental Public Health in Action - Maintaining a survey programme during structural change 260-262 £10 single article
Dental health of Irish alcohol/drug abuse treatment centre residents 263-267 £10 single article
Recent trends in incidence and mortality of oral and pharyngeal cancer in Schleswig-Holstein in Northern Germany 268-273 £10 single article
A description of oral health in three French jails 274-278 £10 single article
Dental erosion among 12 year-old Libyan schoolchildren 279-283 £10 single article
Children’s views on the experience of a visual examination and intra-oral photographs to detect dental caries in epidemiological studies 284-288 £10 single article
Child dental anxiety, parental rearing style and referral status of children 289-292 £10 single article
Caries status in 16 year-olds with varying exposure to water fluoridation in Ireland 293-296 £10 single article
Caries prevalence in 12-year-old Cypriot children 297-301 £10 single article
Cost-effectiveness models for dental caries prevention programmes among Chilean schoolchildren 302-308 £10 single article
Industry structures in private dental markets in Finland 309-314 £10 single article
Letter from America: UK and US state-funded dental provision 315-320 £10 single article


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