Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of smoking on the periodontal conditions of a randomly selected population sample of 19-year-old individuals. Material and Methods: A population sample of 272 randomly selected 19-year-old individuals living in Göteborg, Sweden, was clinically examined with regard to oral hygiene, gingivitis, deepened periodontal pockets, probing attachment loss (PAL) and gingival recession. On bitewing radiographs, alveolar bone level and presence of dental calculus were assessed. The subjects were classified as ‘never-smokers or smokers based on information obtained by a questionnaire-based interview. Results: The mean plaque and gingivitis scores were for never-smokers 58% (SE 1.7) and 46% (1.4) respectively, and for smokers 60% (2.2) and 42% (2.1) respectively. Of the never-smokers and smokers respectively, 38% and 35% showed a prevalence of gingivitis of >50%. The mean number of sites with periodontal pockets ≥4 mm was 12 (0.9) in never-smokers and 13 (1.4) in smokers. Of both never-smokers and smokers, 75% did not have any site with PAL ≥2 mm, and only six individuals (3%), all never-smokers, showed more than three sites with a PAL of ≥2 mm (facial sites). Logistic regression analyses revealed that smoking was a poor discriminator for identification of subjects with periodontal destruction (OR 0.62–1.33). Conclusions: In the present population sample of adolescents, characterised by high prevalence of plaque and gingivitis, smoking habits did not contribute to a higher prevalence or severity of periodontal destruction.
Keywords: adolescents, periodontal disease, smoking