Clinical Edge

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Oral Health and COPD Exacerbations

Oral health was not related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations but was associated with self-reported respiratory health, according to a recent study that examined the relationship between oral health and COPD exacerbators. Researchers performed a case-control study of oral health among COPD exacerbators and non-exacerbators. They evaluated with global oral health assessment, Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-5), dental symptoms/habits, and St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). Among the findings:

  • Screened non-exacerbators (n=118) were significantly more likely to have <4 teeth compared with screened exacerbators (n=100) (44% vs 30%, respectively).
  • After excluding those with <4 teeth, there were 70 cases and 66 controls.
  • Self-reported oral health and objective dental exam measures did not vary significantly between cases and controls.
  • However, the odds of severe COPD exacerbations requiring hospitalization and/or emergency department visits trended higher in those with worse dental exam.


Baldomero AK, Siddiqui M, Lo CY, et al. The relationship between oral health and COPD exacerbations. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2019;14:881-892. doi:10.2147/COPD.S194991.