Skip Page Header

Home > Dental health of Irish alcohol/drug abuse treatment centre residents.

O'Sullivan, EM (2012) Dental health of Irish alcohol/drug abuse treatment centre residents. Community Dental Health , 29 , (4) , pp. 263-7.

Objectives: This study examines the independent and combined impact of 'alcohol only' and 'alcohol plus drug' abuse on the dental health of Irish alcohol/drug abuse treatment centre residents, comparing their dental caries experience.

Methods: Four Irish treatment centres were visited periodically over a year. Data was collected on residents' alcohol, tobacco and drug habits. Participants underwent comprehensive oral examination.

Results: Of 210 participants (148 males and 62 females), 53% reported an 'alcohol plus drug' abuse; 44% had an 'alcohol-only' abuse. 'Drug-only' abusers (n=7) were excluded. Ages ranged from 18-73 with 59% aged under 40. 'Alcohol-only' abusers were significantly older than "alcohol plus drugs" abusers (pO.OOl). Mean DMFT (14.4, sd 7.3) and MT scores (7.3, sd 6.8) were above the national averages. "Alcohol-only" abusers had higher DMFT scores (p<0.001), more missing teeth (pO.OOl) and more filled teeth (p<0.01) than "drugs plus alcohol" abusers. DT scores did not vary significantly between study groups. Multivariate analysis confirmed the significance of gender (males OR=2.31, p=0.009) on DT scores and highly significant influence of age (age<36, OR=0.08, pO.OOl) on MT status. However, study group was not a significant influence once age was taken into consideration.

Conclusions: The study reveals a high level of dental disease among Irish alcohol/drug abusers. While some authors have suggested that 'alcohol-only' abusers may experience less decay than 'alcohol plus drug' abusers, this study found no significant difference in the caries experience of the two groups once age was taken into consideration.

 

Click here to request a copy of this literature (must be logged in)

Repository Staff Only: item control page