Alcohol consumption and periodontal disease: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

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Abstract

Objective

This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of alcohol consumption on the severity of periodontal disease.

Material and Methods

This cross-sectional study employed 13,198 subjects of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) aged 20 and older who have at least six natural teeth. Alcohol intake was represented both as a continuous variable and dichotomized using 5, 10, 15, and 20 drinks/week as cut-points. Periodontal disease was represented by clinical attachment loss (CAL) and was assessed both as a continuous variable and dichotomized as <1.5 mm and ≥1.5 mm. Independent effect of alcohol on CAL was assessed by weighted multiple linear and logistic regression analyses adjusting simultaneously for the effects of age, gender, race, education, income, smoking, diet, diabetes, gingival bleeding, number of remaining teeth.

Results

There was a significant linear relationship between number of drinks per week and log CAL (p = 0.0001). Odds ratios for the risk of attachment loss using 5, 10, 15, and 20 drinks/week as cut-points were 1.22 [1.02–1.47], 1.39 [1.13–1.71], 1.54 [1.22–1.93], and 1.67 [1.25–2.23], respectively.

Conclusion

Alcohol consumption may be associated with increased severity of CAL in a dose-dependent fashion. Prospective studies and studies of mechanism are needed to confirm the role of alcohol as a risk factor for periodontal disease.

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