Periodontal health and quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Respir Med. 2011 Jan;105(1):67-73. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2010.06.017. Epub 2010 Jul 13.


Objective: To evaluate the association of periodontal health and parameters of quality of life assessed in 306 Chinese patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Methods: Periodontal status and respiratory function in 306 COPD patients were clinically evaluated and their quality of life was assessed using the standardized St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ).

Results: The SGRQ scores were all significantly correlated with major lung function parameters (r(2) = -0.37 to -0.28; all p < 0.0001) and Medical Research Council dyspnoea scale (r(2) = 0.23 to 0.30; all p < 0.0001). The SGRQ scores also correlated with the 6-min walk test (r(2) = -0.15 to -0.13; all p < 0.05). Of periodontal health parameters, missing tooth number and plaque index appeared to be related to the scores of quality of life. The age- and gender-adjusted Pearson's correlation coefficients between missing teeth and total score, symptoms score, and activity score were 0.09, 0.12, and 0.12, respectively (all p < 0.05). The Pearson's correlation coefficients between plaque index and symptoms score and activity score were 0.09 and 0.09 (p < 0.05). After adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, and smoking status, missing teeth remained significantly associated with symptom score (p = 0.030) and activity score (p = 0.033) while plaque index was significantly associated with symptom score (p = 0.007).

Conclusions: Poor periodontal health as reflected by missing teeth and plaque index was significantly associated with lower quality of life in COPD patients. Our findings indicate the importance of promoting dental care in current public health strategies to improve the quality of life in COPD patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oral Hygiene Index
  • Periodontitis / complications
  • Periodontitis / physiopathology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tooth Loss / physiopathology