Self-perceived oral symptoms and periodontal status among young intravenous heroin addicts: A cross-sectional case-control study

J Periodontol. 2018 May;89(5):571-576. doi: 10.1002/JPER.17-0495.


Background: It is hypothesized that (a) self-perceived oral symptoms (OSs) are worse in intravenous heroin addicts (IHA) than controls; and (b) clinical periodontal inflammatory parameters (plaque index [PI], bleeding on probing [BOP], PD and clinical attachment loss [AL]), number of missing teeth (MT), and radiographic marginal bone loss (MBL) are higher in IHA compared with controls. The aim was to compare the self-perceived OSs and periodontal parameters among young IHA and controls.

Methods: Sociodemographic data, self-perceived OSs and duration and daily frequency of intravenous heroin use was gathered using a structured questionnaire. Full-mouth PI, BOP, PD, and clinical AL were measured, and number of MT were recorded. Mesial and distal MBL on all teeth was measured on digital radiographs. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed for self-perceived OSs and periodontal parameters were assessed using the Mann Whitney U-test and logistic regression analysis. Sample-size was estimated, and level of significance was set at P < 0.05.

Results: OR (95% CI) for self-perceived loose teeth (P < 0.001), pain in teeth (P < 0.001), dry mouth (P < 0.001), burning sensation in mouth (P < 0.001), bleeding gums (P < 0.001) and pain during chewing (P < 0.001) were significantly higher in the test than control group. Number of MT (P < 0.05), PI (P < 0.05), clinical AL (P < 0.05), and mesial (P < 0.05) and distal (P < 0.05) MBL were statistically significantly higher among individuals in the test group compared with the control group.

Conclusion: Self-perceived OSs and periodontal inflammatory parameters were worse in IHA than controls.

Keywords: dental plaque index; heroin; periodontal index; periodontal pocket; tooth loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Heroin*
  • Humans
  • Periodontal Index


  • Heroin