Introduction: Tobacco consumption is risk factor of many infectious and endemic diseases. The objective of our study was to compare the oral health of smokers and non-smokers in the city of Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study using a stratified random sampling that took place between April to September 2014 in which both smokers and non-smokers participated.
Results: Two hundred smokers and 200 non-smokers comprising 341 men and 59 women participated in the study with the 25-35 years age group was most represented. A third of the smokers were unemployed 72 (36.0%), 45(22.5%) had low income employment, 94(51.4%) were initiated into smoking when they were less than 10 years old; 90(45.5%) took between 1 and 15 sticks of cigarettes a day. Supra-gingival calculus, halitosis, xerostomia, periodontal diseases, tooth mobility, painless carious cavitation’s and tooth loss were more frequent in smokers. Toothache from carious cavitations, tooth loss was more frequent in smokers while toothache from deep caries was found more in non-smokers.
Conclusion: The frequency of oral diseases was higher in tobacco smokers than non-smokers. People from low socioeconomic status, males and the unemployed were mostly affected.
Recommendations: The government and stake holders in public health should formulate policies that will reduce cigarette smoking and also involve oral health workers in their campaigns.
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