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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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The poor oral health status of former heroin users treated with methadone in a Chinese city

He Ma, Xin-chang Shi, De-yu Hu, Xue Li

Med Sci Monit 2012; 18(4): PH51-55

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.882611

Background:    There have been few studies conducted on the oral health status of illegal drug users in China, affecting the development of preventive and therapeutic approaches. The aim of the present study was to investigate and analyze the oral health status of former heroin users treated with methadone in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province in southwestern China.
    Material/Methods:    The presence of caries (decayed tooth and root), missing teeth, residual roots, dental prosthetic restoration and periodontal health were investigated in 445 former heroin users treated with methadone (317 males and 128 females). Their ages ranged from 20 to 59 years old.
    Results:    Among the study subjects, the prevalence of decayed/filled teeth was 64.72%, and the mean of decayed/filled teeth score was 2.92. The prevalence of decayed/filled roots was 21.80%, and the mean of decayed/filled roots score was 0.62. The prevalence of missing teeth was 31.46%, and the mean missing teeth score was 0.62. The prevalence of residual roots was 42.02%, with a mean score of 1.06. The rates of gingival bleeding, calculus, shallow pockets periodontal pocket, and deep periodontal pocket were 99.55%, 96.63%, 30.34%, and 2.70%, respectively.
    Conclusions:    The oral health status among the studied former heroin users in Chengdu was poorer than the general population. Better dental care for the former heroin users is needed to promote their oral health.

Keywords: Periodontal Index, Oral Health - statistics & numerical data, Methadone - therapeutic use, Heroin Dependence - epidemiology, DMF Index, China - epidemiology, Adult, Adolescent, Periodontium - pathology, Prevalence, Tooth Root - pathology, young adult

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