Tooth loss among middle-aged adults in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966. Associations with tobacco smoking and diabetes

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Remote access: https://oulu.zoom.us/j/65425125585

Topic of the dissertation

Tooth loss among middle-aged adults in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966. Associations with tobacco smoking and diabetes

Doctoral candidate

Master of Science Toni Similä

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Medicine, Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences

Subject of study

Public health

Opponent

Professor Liisa Suominen, University of Eastern Finland

Custos

Docent Pentti Nieminen, University of Oulu

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Smoking and diabetes associate with tooth loss

This study included information on 10,321 members of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966. It was explored if smoking, as a harmful health behavior, associated with tooth loss.

The duration of smoking history and the presumed benefits of cessation on tooth loss were investigated. The usefulness of number of teeth as an indicator of impaired glucose metabolism was tested. The validity of self-report as a substitute for clinically determined number of teeth was evaluated. Tooth loss was assessed by clinically measured and/or self-reported number of teeth. Questionnaires inquired about socioeconomic and behavioral factors, with smoking as the exposure of interest. Impaired glucose metabolism was determined through different sources, with oral glucose tolerance test as the primary screening tool. Various regression models served to statistically explore the association between smoking, glucose metabolism, relevant confounders and tooth loss.

Smoking had an exposure-dependent association with tooth loss, mainly among males. It seemed that those males who had stopped smoking started to gradually reclaim the aptitude for tooth retention. A reduced number of teeth associated with impaired glucose metabolism, mainly among females. Self-reported number of teeth was in good agreement with the corresponding clinical measure in this study population.

The findings of this study advocate the importance of recognizing smoking as a harmful oral health behavior. Noticeably increased tooth loss can be considered as a possible initial indicator of underlying diabetes. This study also demonstrated self-reported number of teeth as a reasonably valid option for tooth loss measure in large population studies.
Last updated: 15.5.2020