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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 279-291

How much do Italian patients in supportive periodontal therapy know about the role of smoking in oral health and what is their lifestyle?

1 Department of Odontostomatological and Maxillo Facial Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
2 Private Practice in Rome, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Roberto Pippi
Department of Odontostomatolgical and Maxillo Facial Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Caserta 6, 00161 Rome
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_75_17

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Objective: The level of awareness of patients receiving supportive periodontal therapy (SPT) concerning the role of smoking as a risk factor for oral health was investigated. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire was administered to 158 patients previously treated for periodontitis in four periodontally oriented private dental offices in Rome. The generalized linear model was used to test the simultaneous effect of questions posed to all patients. Fisher's exact test was used to verify significant associations among qualitative variables. Results: Only 53.79% of the total sample referred having been informed by the dentist/hygienist about smoking as an oral health risk factor. About 40% of patients did not know that oral cancer exists and only 36.08% of them reported being informed about it by their own dentist/hygienist. Females are significantly less frequent among ex-smokers than among smokers. Nonsmokers were on periodontal supportive therapy for a longer period than smokers. Patients who started smoking later found harder to quit smoking than those who started earlier. Conclusion: Awareness of patients in SPT about health risks related to smoking does not assume a change in their harmful behavior. Among oral health professionals, there is not yet a widespread awareness of the importance of their role in increasing patient's motivation to quit.

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