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Alcohol consumption is widely perceived as a risk factor for periodontitis. (Photo: bogdanhoda/Shutterstock)
0 Comments Jun 23, 2014 | News Asia Pacific

Men and non-smokers who drink may be at particular risk of periodontal disease

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SEOUL, Korea: In order to determine whether alcohol consumption is a risk factor for periodontitis, researchers have conducted a study of almost 5,300 Korean adults. Although the study found only a marginal association between harmful alcohol use and poorer periodontal status in general, it suggested that male consumers of alcohol and those who had never smoked were at particular risk of periodontal disease.

According to the researchers, this is the first study to report sex and smoking as modifying factors of the association between alcohol consumption and periodontal status. While harmful alcohol use was significantly associated with a higher score on the Community Periodontal Index in men and non-smokers, such a link was not found in the females and current smokers who participated in the study.

The reasons underlying the connection are not fully understood by the scientists but they suggested that smoking may mask the effect of alcohol consumption on periodontal health in smokers. They further highlighted that more studies are needed to clarify the association between the two conditions, taking sex and smoking into account.

The study participants were a subset of the Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which was conducted in 2009 by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, titled “Association between harmful alcohol use and periodontal status according to gender and smoking”, was published online on 20 June in the BMC Oral Health journal. It was conducted by researchers at Seoul National University.

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