Cigarette smoking contributes to poor oral health and dental discoloration. Therefore, stopping smoking may translate into measurable amelioration of dental shade indices. We compared dental shade parameters by digital spectrophotometry among current, former, and never smokers and verified their repeatability at 7 and 30 days. Dental shade parameters (CIE L*a*b* and corresponding whiteness index for dentistry-WID) were measured in current, former, and never smokers with a digital spectrophotometer (Vita Easyshade V) on three separate study visits: at baseline (day 0), at day 7, and day 30. Dental shade parameters were analyzed in 18 current, 18 former, and 20 never smokers. The repeatability of shade parameters was consistent in current, former, and never smokers. L*, a*, b*, and WID show significant short and long-term repeatability (p < 0.0001, by regression analyses). The mean (± SD) WID score of 13.42 (± 4.9) in current smokers was significantly lower compared to the WID score of 20.38 (± 5.3) in never smokers (p = 0.001). No significant differences were observed between current and former smokers and between former smokers and former smokers. Dental shade measurements by digital spectrophotometry were highly reproducible and showed that teeth whiteness of current smokers is substantially inferior compared to never smokers. Objective discrimination of dental shade can be a valuable regulatory science endpoint for investigating oral hygiene and dental aesthetics of consumer care products, smoking cessation medications, and tar-free tobacco products (e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products, oral nicotine products) for cigarette substitution.
Clinical trial registration: the study was not registered in ClinicalTrials.gov considering that it is a pilot study, parts of a larger project with ID: NCT04649645