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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-25

Evaluation of gingival pigmentation in children exposed to and not exposed to environmental tobacco smoking

Department of Periodontics, A. B. Shetty Institute of Dental Sciences, Derlakatte, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Shabeer Mohamed Madani
Department of Periodontics, A. B. Shetty Institute of Dental Sciences, Derlakatte, Mangalore, Karnataka
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DOI: 10.4103/0976-433X.129066

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Background and Aim: The exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) has been recognized as a strong contributor to respiratory disorders, lung cancer, peripheral vascular function and death. Increased gingival pigmentation in smokers is established. In children exposed to ETS, an increased incidence of caries and pigmentation of gingiva were documented. In a country like India where no stringent smoke-free policies exist and the presence of joint family systems in rural population, children are at a greater health risk when either one of the family member is a smoker. The potential accumulation in melanin-containing tissues of nicotine and tobacco-specific compounds may be a concern for any individual who is chronically exposed to tobacco smoke. Gingival pigmentation is easy to assess and could be of significant importance while educating parents in terms of their child's health. Thus primary objective of our study is to assess the effects of ETS on gingival pigmentation in children with ≥1 smoker parent or close relatives. Materials and Methods: A total of 228 students between the age group of 6-16 years were selected randomly. The cases included children exposed to ETS who were non-smokers and the controls were not exposed to ETS at home. Pigmentation was assessed using Dummet & Co's pigmentation index and smoking was assessed by interview. Results: The prevalence of pigmentation in subjects not exposed to ETS was found to be 132 (80.5%) subjects in comparison to 32 (19.5%) without any gingival pigmentation. It can also be noted that all the 64 (100%) subjects exposed to ETS had pigmented gingiva. Conclusion: Within the limitations of this cross-sectional observational study, we conclude that there may be a correlation between gingival melanin pigmentation of children exposed to ETS.

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