ABSTRACT:Background and aim:
The role of tobacco as a risk factor for dental caries is yet to be established firmly.
The present study was undertaken to evaluate the association of tobacco habits with dental caries and Streptococcus mutans
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional, analytical study was conducted among 345 subjects aged 18-65 years, which were divided into 3 groups as smokers, smokeless tobacco chewers and non-tobacco users. Data regarding tobacco use was collected using a questionnaire. Caries status was assessed using WHO Oral Health Assessment Form for Adults-2013. Unstimulated whole saliva sample was collected for observing Streptococcus mutans colonies.
Statistical Analysis: ANOVA (Analysis of variance) and the post hoc test using Fisher’s least significant difference (LSD) test. Pearson’s correlation was done to assess the degree of correlation of DMFT with tobacco use and Streptococcus mutans.
Results: Smokeless tobacco users had highest mean DMFT (9.06±2.37) followed by smokers and non-tobacco users. The tobacco users with high Streptococcus mutans count had higher caries prevalence as compared to non-tobacco users. A statistically significant relation was found between caries prevalence and tobacco use.
Conclusion: The results revealed increased number of Streptococcus mutans count in smokeless tobacco users followed by smokers and non-smokers which may indicate increased caries susceptibility among tobacco users.