Introduction: Tobacco smoking is considered as one of the most common risk factors for the development of Oral Mucosal Lesions (OML). A variety of oral mucosal lesions and conditions are associated with the habit of smoking, and many of these lesions carry a potential risk for the development of oral cancer. There has been very less literature about the prevalence of smoking and associated oral mucosal lesions in the population of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out with the patients who visited various Dental Colleges and dental hospitals in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for one year. A total of 999 subjects (236 nonsmokers and 763 smokers) were interviewed and examined by trained professionals to assess any oral mucosal lesions.
Results: There was a considerable difference in the association of oral mucosal changes in the smokers and non-smokers; 748 subjects with smoking habits had OMLs compared to 176 subjects who had no such habits. The prevalence of white lesions, pigmented lesions, and ulcerative lesions in smokers was considerably higher than non-smoker in the study group. Overall the prevalence of oral mucosal lesions differed in the subjects with the smoking habit as compared without smoking habit, which was found to be statistically significant (p<0.05).
Conclusion: White, pigmented lesions were the most common types of oral mucosal lesions reported in smokers. Efforts to increase patient awareness of the oral effects of smoking and to eliminate the smoking habit are needed to improve oral and general health.
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