Objective: Besides genetic factors, tobacco smoking has been found to be the major cause of oral melanin pigmentation. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the frequency of oral melanin pigmentation in a Turkish population and to present its correlation with clinical parameters relevant to periodontal status in current smokers, non-smokers, former smokers.
Method: A sample of 496 patients was randomly selected. The subjects were interviewed regarding their smoking habits. They were clinically examined by a single examiner for the presence of oral melanin pigmentation in different oral mucosal regions. The same examiner recorded the clinical parameters including GI (gingival index), PI (plaque index), BOP (bleeding on probing), PD (probing depth) and GR (gingival recession). Examiner 2 completed a questionnaire concerning skin color and smoking habits.
Results: In the study group, 41% were current smokers, 46% nonsmokers and 13% former smokers. The frequencies of pigmented areas were significantly higher in current smokers than in those without any smoking habits. The clinical parameters revealed similar findings for all groups. Low GI and BOP values were observed for current smokers when compared with non-smokers and former smokers, respectively. GI values were significantly associated with the pigmentations in gingiva.
Conclusions: The results of our study show that smokers in a Turkish population had significantly more pigmented oral surfaces than nonsmokers.