Relationship of Gingival Pigmentation with Passive Smoking in Women


1 Department of Oral Medicine, Dental Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran,

2 Department of Operative Dentistry, Dental School, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Oral mucosal pigmentation is among the most common findings in smokers, affecting smile esthetics. Passive smoking significantly compromises the health of non-smoker individuals particularly women. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship of passive smoking with oral pigmentation in non-smoker women. Materials and Methods: This historical-cohort study was conducted on a case group of 50 married women who were unemployed, not pregnant, non-smoker, had no systemic condition causing cutaneous or mucosal pigmentation, were not taking any medication causing cutaneous or mucosal pigmentation and had a heavy smoker husband. The control group comprised of 50 matched females with no smoker member in the family. Both groups were clinically examined for presence of gingival pigmentation and the results were analyzed using chisquare and logistic regression tests. Results: Gingival pigmentation was found in 27 (54%) passive smokers and 14 (28%) controls (P=0.01). The odds ratio (OR) of gingival pigmentation in women exposed to secondhand smoke of their husbands (adjusted for education and having a smoker parent at childhood) was 3 (95% confidence interval; CI: 1.26 – 7.09). House floor area was correlated with gingival pigmentation in female passive smokers (P=0.025). Conclusion: This study was the first to describe the relationship between secondhand smoke and gingival pigmentation in women and this effect was magnified in smaller houses.