Objectives: Cigarette smoking is a leading risk factor for periodontal disease. This cross-sectional study investigated the relation between environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and periodontal disease in the United States.
Methods: Data were obtained from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994). The outcome was periodontal disease, defined as 1 or more periodontal sites with attachment loss of 3 mm or greater and a pocket depth of 4 mm or greater at the same site. Exposure to ETS at home and work was self-reported. The study analyzed 6611 persons 18 years and older who had never smoked cigarettes or used other forms of tobacco.
Results: Exposure to ETS at home only, work only, and both was reported by 18.0%, 10.7%, and 3.8% of the study population, respectively. The adjusted odds of having periodontal disease were 1.6 (95% confidence interval = 1.1, 2.2) times greater for persons exposed to ETS than for persons not exposed.
Conclusions: Among persons in the United States who had never used tobacco, those exposed to ETS were more likely to have periodontal disease than were those not exposed to ETS.