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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal
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Volume 3: No. 4, October 2006

ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Risk of Tooth Loss After Cigarette Smoking Cessation

Years of Abstinence Hazard Ratio (95% Confidence Interval)
0 2.1 (1.5 – 3.1)
1 2.0 (1.4 – 2.9)
2 1.9 (1.3 – 2.9)
3 1.8 (1.2 – 2.8)
4 1.8 (1.2 – 2.7)
5 1.9 (1.2 – 2.9)
6 1.8 ( 1.1 – 2.9)
7 1.8 (1.1 – 2.8)
8 2.2 (1.3 – 3.6)
9 1.8 (1.0 – 3.1)
10 1.6 (0.9 – 2.9)
11 1.8 (1.0 – 3.3)
12 1.2 (0.7 – 2.2)
13 1.1 (0.6 – 2.0)
14 1.1 (0.6 – 2.0)
15 1.0 (0.5 – 2.2)
16 1.0 (0.5 – 2.3)

Figure 1. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for tooth loss among men who quit smoking cigarettes, by years of abstinence, in the Veterans Administration Dental Longitudinal Study, 1968–2004. Each hazard ratio was estimated from separate tooth-specific, multivariate proportional hazards regression models using the marginal approach and was adjusted for education (nine levels ranging from grade school to professional degree), age, total pack-years of cigarette exposure (average number of packs smoked per day multiplied by total number of years smoked), frequency of tooth brushing (≤ once per day or > once per day), and use of floss (ever or never). Never smokers are the reference group; their risk (1.0) is indicated by the dotted line.

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Quitters who had been abstinent for 1 year had lower probabilities of a tooth surviving the next 10, 20, or 30 years than never smokers (0.84 in quitters vs. 0.94 in never smokers at 10 years; 0.78 vs. 0.89 at 20 years; and 0.77 vs. 0.83 at 30 years, top graph). Quitters who had been abstinent for 6 years had lower probabilities of a tooth surviving the next 10 or 20 years than never smokers (0.87 in quitters vs. 0.95 in never smokers at 10 years; 0.84 vs. 0.91 at 20 years, middle graph). Quitters who had been abstinent for 13 years had similar probabilities of a tooth surviving the next 10 or 20 years as never smokers (0.93 in quitters vs. 0.95 in never smokers at 10 years; 0.93 vs. 0.89 at 20 years, bottom graph).

Figure 2.  Kaplan-Meier survival plots for teeth in never smokers (blue markers) and quitters (green markers) after 1 year (top), 6 years (middle), and 13 years (bottom) of cigarette abstinence, Veterans Administration Dental Longitudinal Study, 1968–2004.

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