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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 317640, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Qat Chewing as an Independent Risk Factor for Periodontitis: A Cross-Sectional Study

1Department of Periodontology, Oral Pathology, Oral Medicine and Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sana’a, Sana’a, Yemen
2Department of Periodontology, Faculty of Dentistry, Khartoum University, Khartoum, Sudan
3Department of Preventive Sciences—Periodontology, Faculty of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia
4Substance Abuse Research Center (SARC), Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia

Received 17 December 2012; Accepted 23 January 2013

Academic Editor: Francesco Carinci

Copyright © 2013 Ali Kaid Al-Sharabi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study assessed the effect of qat chewing on periodontal health, independent of other risk factors. Four hundred qat chewers and 100 nonchewers (20–50 years) were included. Demographic data and detailed information about chewing and smoking were obtained. Periodontal status was assessed using Community Periodontal Index (CPI) and clinical attachment loss (CAL). The qat chewers were older, included more males and smokers, and had worse oral hygiene but higher education levels; the majority were heavy chewers (mean duration of 14.45 years and frequency of 6.10 days/week). Regression analysis identified age, oral hygiene, education level, and cigarette smoking as independent predictors of periodontal destruction. Adjusted for these, qat chewing showed marginally significant association only with CAL (OR = 4.7; ). The chewing sides showed significantly higher scores than the nonchewing sides; however, equal scores on both sides or lower scores on the chewing sides (possibly no or beneficial effect) were still observed in 50% of the chewers. Heavy qat chewing is shown here as an independent risk factor for attachment loss. However, the possibility that the habit may have beneficial effects in a subset of the chewers cannot be excluded. A holistic model that resolves the existing contradiction is presented.