Background: Candidiasis is the most common opportunistic oral infection and cigarette smoking considered as one of its well-known risk factors. However, it remains unknown whether opium users are susceptible to increased oral candida colonization. The aim of the present study was to investigate the pattern of oral candida colonization in relation with the cigarette smoking and using opium in Kerman , Iran.
Methods: This case-control study included 75 health male respondents divided into three groups (25 in each group): cigarette smokers, cigarette and opium users and non-smokers as control group. Samples were obtained from oral mucosa by scraping the mucosa with a sterile cotton swab then inoculated into Sabouraud Dextrose Agar and Chromagar plates and also examined with the light microscope.
Findings: Candida were identified in 38.7% of respondents. The most frequently isolated species was candida albicans (90.66%). The highest prevalence of candida carriage was found in cigarette smokers (52%). The difference of candida carriage between the two groups: (cigarette smokers, cigarette plus opium users) and the control group was statistically significant (P=0.007 & P=0.015).
Conclusion: In the present study we found that the prevalence of oral candida carriage was significantly higher among cigarette and opium users in comparison with non-users.