Oral hygiene, periodontal health and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations

Zhiqiang Liu, Wei Zhang, Jing Zhang, Xuan Zhou, Liangqiong Zhang, Yiqing Song, Zuomin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations


Aim To assess the associations of oral hygiene and periodontal health with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations. Material and Methods In total, 392 COPD patients were divided into frequent and infrequent exacerbation (≥2 times and <2 times in last 12 months) groups. Their lung function and periodontal status were examined. Information on oral hygiene behaviours was obtained by interview. Results In the univariate analysis, fewer remaining teeth, high plaque index (PLI) scores, low tooth brushing times, and low regular supra-gingival scaling were significantly associated with COPD exacerbations (all p-values <0.05). After adjustment for age, gender, body mass index, COPD severity and dyspnoea severity, the associations with fewer remaining teeth (p = 0.02), high PLI scores (p = 0.02) and low tooth brushing times (p = 0.008) remained statistically significant. When stratified by smoking, fewer remaining teeth (OR = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.04-4.02) and low tooth brushing times (OR = 4.90, 95% CI: 1.26-19.1) among past smokers and high PLI scores (OR = 3.43, 95% CI: 1.19-9.94) among never smokers were significantly associated with COPD exacerbations. Conclusions Fewer remaining teeth, high PLI scores, and low tooth brushing times are significant correlates of COPD exacerbations, indicating that improving periodontal health and oral hygiene may be a potentially preventive strategy against COPD exacerbations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012



  • case-control study
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • exacerbations
  • oral hygiene
  • periodontitis
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics

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