Awareness of link between smoking and periodontal disease in Nigeria: a comparative study
Solomon O Nwhator1, Patricia O Ayanbadejo2, Modupe O Arowojolu3, Osagie Akhionbare4, Adeleke O Oginni5
1Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; 2Department of Preventive Dentistry, University of Lagos, 3Dental School University College Hospital Ibadan, 4Department of Periodontics, School of Dentistry, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City; 5Department of Restorative Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Objectives: To investigate Nigerians’ awareness of the link between smoking and periodontal disease, and to compare our study findings with those of a similar UK study.
Design: The subjects, consisting of 992 adults, completed anonymous questionnaires. These subjects included patients and their escorts attending dental clinics located in four teaching hospitals in southwestern Nigeria. The teaching hospitals included the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, University College Hospital Ibadan, and the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
Results: Smoking was considered dangerous to health by 96% of subjects, while 91% believed that it negatively impacted on oral health. Of those who believed smoking impacted negatively on oral health, 44% could not state how. Seventy percent of those who stated how smoking affects oral health associated smoking with dental stains and 12% associated it with halitosis, while 11% identified smoking as a causative agent of oral cancer. Only 20 subjects specifically stated that smoking affected the gums. This figure represents 2.2% of the total number of subjects, 2.4% of subjects who believed that smoking negatively impacted oral health, and 4.4% of subjects who could state a specific association between smoking and oral health. Male gender, nonsmoking status, and higher educational level were significantly associated with the level of awareness of negative effects of smoking on oral health. Ethnicity, number of previous dental visits, and reason for quitting had no impact on level of awareness.
Conclusions: This study found that the level of awareness of a link between smoking and periodontal disease is extremely low among Nigerians (2.2%). The findings closely resemble those of the UK study although, expectedly, the level of awareness is much higher in the UK.
Keywords: smoking, awareness, periodontal diseases, Nigeria, United Kingdom
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