Introduction The oral cavity is one of the first place to expose to occupational hazards in work environments, such as inorganic acid mist. There was few researches concerning the relationship between dental disorders and occupational hazards. The aim of this study was to determine the association of acid mist exposure with periodontal status and dental caries.
Methods The study population of 304 workers was recruited from four factories in Taiwan (151 acid mist exposed workers and 153 controls). Personal, medical and occupational history were collected by interviews and questionnaire. Dental status was examined by well-trained dentists and using Decayed-missing-filled-teeth (DMFT), Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Needs (CPITN) and Loss of attachment (LA) as indices of dental health.
Result Of the acid mist exposed group, 95.4% and 57.5% had high CPITN scores and LA scores, and 87.6% and 40.5% for the referent group (p=0.015 and 0.003). For CPITN and LA scores, the adjusted odds ratio for acid mist exposed group were 2.80 (95% CI: 1.00 to 7.88; p=0.05) and 2.85 (95% CI: 1.54 to 5.28; p=0.001). However, DMFT scores and dental erosion were not associated with the exposure to acid mist, even after control for age, duration of work, smoking habits, drinking habits and betel nut chewing habits.
Discussion The findings suggest that the workers exposed to acid mist from electroplating would increase the risk of periodontal disease. Further work environmental design or equipment reform are still needed to protect from acid mist exposure.
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