Aim: To evaluate the associations of periodontal health status and oral health behaviours with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Materials and methods: We conducted a case-control study of 306 COPD patients and 328 controls with normal pulmonary function. Their periodontal status and respiratory function were clinically examined and information on oral health behaviours was obtained using a validated questionnaire.
Results: Patients with COPD had fewer teeth and a higher plaque index than the controls. Univariate analysis showed that tooth brushing times and method, experience of dental floss use, dental visit and regular supra-gingival scaling, and oral health knowledge were significantly related to the risk of COPD. After adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index and stratifying by smoking status, inappropriate tooth brushing method (p=0.025 among non-smokers), lower regular supra-gingival scaling (p=0.027 among non-smokers and p<0.0001 among former smokers), and poorer oral health knowledge (p<0.0001 among non-smokers and p=0.019 among former smokers and p=0.044 among current smokers) remained significantly associated with COPD.
Conclusions: Poor periodontal health, dental care, and oral health knowledge were significantly associated with an increased risk of COPD. Our findings indicate the importance of promoting dental care and oral health knowledge that can be integrated into the prevention and treatment of COPD.