Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate effects of snuff on the oral health status of adolescent males. Materials and Methods: The participants consisted of 80 adolescent males between 16-25 years, 40 snuff users and 40 non-users. The snuff users and non-users were matched with reference to their age. Data were collected using a questionnaire containing questions on general and oral health, daily oral hygiene and tobacco habits. The clinical examination was carried out in a dental office by two experienced dental hygienists. Snuff lesions were clinically classified on a four-point scale and documented on colour slides. The examination also assessed the number of teeth, restored tooth surfaces, plaque index and gingival index, probing pocket depth and gingival recessions. Results: Out of 40 snuff users, 35 showed snuff incluced lesions. The clinical diagnosis of snuff users mucosa showed snuff lesions of different severity clinically classified as degree 1, 2 and 3. When explaining snuff lesions of degree 2 and 3, hours of daily snuff use and package form (portion-bag snuff versus loose snuff) was statistically significant. There were no statistical differences between snuff users and non-users regarding restored tooth surfaces, presence of plaque, gingival inflammation and probing pocket depth. Seventeen percent of the cases showed loss of periodontal attachment as gingival recessions. Conclusion: In spite of mucosal lesions caused by snuff there were no statistical differences in prevalence in plaque and gingivitis between snuff users and non-users. However, some cases showed loss of periodontal attachment as gingival recessions.
Keywords: adolescent, oral health, tobacco habits, snuff lesions