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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-13
Substance use and oral health sensations among substance users residing in rehabilitation centres in an Indian City

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Kalinga Institute of Dental Sciences, KIIT Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shilpa Rai
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Kalinga Institute of Dental Sciences (KIDS), KIIT University, Campus – 5, Patia, Bhubaneswar – 751 024, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_213_20

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Background: The term substance is usually used to address psychoactive/psychotropic drugs which include both licit and illicit drugs. These substances have varied consequences, including long-term and short-term effects, which include sensations post-consumption. Aim: To determine patterns of substance use and short-term oral health effects among substance users. Materials and Methods: A self-administered questionnaire-based study was conducted on the inmates of drug deaddiction and rehabilitation centres in Bhubaneswar city. Results: All the subjects were males and majority (60.6%) were polydrug users. Alcohol (87.3%) was the most commonly used substance, followed by ganja (57%), bhang (35.3%) and brown sugar (33%). A wide range of oral health sensations like dryness of mouth, taste change, numbness in mouth, feeling like chewing something, loose teeth and stammering/difficulty in speaking were found to be significantly associated with substance use. The age of start of substance use (P < 0.0001), socioeconomic status (P = 0.026) and marital status (P < 0.0001) were significantly associated with the pattern of substance use. About 37.6% of inmates felt that they had very good oral health before starting drug use, while only 15.4% described their oral health as very good at present. Having no oral health problem was the most common reason for not visiting a dentist, followed by ignorant attitude towards oral health. Conclusion: A wide range of oral health sensations were found to be caused due to substance use. Understanding of oral health sensations can aid practitioners detect and report cases of substance use in its early phase.

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