The effect of tobacco use on oral health and dental readiness in the Croatian Army

J Addict Dis. 2011 Apr;30(2):159-68. doi: 10.1080/10550887.2011.554783.


This study examined tobacco use as a risk factor in the development of periodontal disease as dental emergency and dental readiness among soldiers. A total of 884 soldiers were followed: 650 recruits and 234 professional active veterans. They were categorized into dental readiness classes, and questionnaires were completed about tobacco use. Overall, 62.7% of soldiers reported current smoking, with a higher prevalence of smokers among recruits. The results showed a significant difference in smokers vs. non-smokers in dental readiness, supragingival/subgingival calculus, gingivitis, and Class 3 dental fitness. More recruits (63.8%) smoked than veterans (59.4%), but greater prevalence of daily cigarette smoking and duration of smoking habits was found among veterans. In both groups, soldiers who smoked were characterized by a higher percentage of periodontal health problems and decreased combat readiness compared to soldiers who did not smoke. This indicates a need for oral health prevention program, and cigarette smoking and cessation programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Croatia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Dentistry / statistics & numerical data
  • Military Personnel* / statistics & numerical data
  • Oral Health*
  • Periodontal Diseases / classification
  • Periodontal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Periodontal Diseases / etiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult