Tayebeh Malek Mohammadi1, Naimeh Hasheminejad2, Hamid Reza Salari2, Mohammad Reza Rostamizadeh2,Hamid Najafipour1


Physiology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

1Kerman Physiology Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology Sciences, Kerman University of Medical Sciences,

2 Oral and Dental Diseases Research Center and Kerman Social Determinants on Oral Health Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


Background: Like any other drug abuse, opium use is known to have detrimental
effects on oral health. Oral hygiene neglect in opium users can lead to tooth loss
resulting in further functional, esthetic, and dieting problems. Therefore, the aim
of this study was to assess the association between tooth loss and opium addiction
in a large-scale population.
Materials and Methods: This study was part of an extensive study related to the
risk factors of cardiovascular disease and conducted by the center for physiological
research during 2012–2015 in Kerman. A total of 5900, 15–75-year-old
individuals, were recruited by a single-stage random cluster sampling method.
Factors including opium and smoking consumption, factors related to oral health,
hygiene, and the number of missing teeth were examined. Data were collected
through questionnaires, interviews, and physical examination.
Results: Of 5900 individuals, 2662 (45.1%) were men and the rest were women,
which 1011 individuals (17.1%) consumed opium. The prevalence of opium
abuse was significantly higher in men. Regarding the oral dental indicators, the
numbers of missing teeth (P < 0.001), decayed (P = 0.01), and the total index
of decayed, missing, and filled teeth (P < 0.001) were significantly higher in
addicts as compared to nonaddicts. The gingival index and community periodontal
index scores were significantly lower in addicts. Addicted women had a higher
prevalence of tooth loss.
Conclusions: Opium addiction is associated with higher tooth loss, especially, in
women opium users. Dental practitioners and health politicians should pay special
attention to the oral health of addicts before tooth loss occurs.
Keywords: Opium, oral health, tooth loss