The influence of gingival margin recession on loss of clinical attachment in alcohol-dependent patients without medical disorders

Ahmed Khocht, Malvin Janal, Steven Schleifer, Steven Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The objective of this study was to examine the effects of alcohol and cocaine misuse on periodontal status in a group of alcohol-dependent patients. Methods: Forty verified alcoholics, either exclusively (n = 10) or with cocaine abuse (n = 30), and a matched comparison group of 25 non-alcoholic subjects, 14 of whom abused cocaine, were entered in the study. All subjects were free from systemic illnesses. Blood levels of gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGTP), a liver enzyme indicator of alcohol drinking, were determined. A comprehensive periodontal examination was performed on 6 sites per tooth. The gingival index (GI) and plaque index (PI) were recorded. Attachment levels (AL) were computed as probing depth (PD) plus gingival margin level (GM). Results: No statistically significant differences were noted between the groups for average AL, PD, GM, GI, and PI. In alcoholics, Pearson correlation showed a positive association between GGTP levels and loss of periodontal attachment (P <0.05). A series of regression analyses predicting AL from selected periodontal and demographic factors showed that alcoholics manifest AL by greater increases in GM than non-alcoholics (P <0.07). Severe alcohol use as measured by GGTP >51 iu/I worsens PI (P <0.07), which adversely impacts GM, GI, PD, and ultimately AL. No significant associations were found between cocaine use and AL. Conclusions: The results suggest that persistent alcohol abuse increases periodontitis development by heightening the loss of attachment through recession of gingival margins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-493
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of periodontology
Volume74
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Periodontics

Keywords

  • Alcoholism
  • Cocaine abuse
  • Periodontal attachment loss/etiology
  • Periodontitis/etiology

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