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Quitting smoking helps heal Gum Disease

July 18th 2005

Gum Disease Quit Smoking Study found

Gum Disease  -  NIH

New research indicates that people who quit smoking are more likely to keep their teeth than their smoking counterparts, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology. 

Researchers from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne compared chronic gum disease between the two groups and found smokers were up to six times more likely to develop gum disease than those that quit. 

It is possible that smoking weakens the immune system making infections more probable.  If the body is unable to fight the bacteria that causes gum disease, teeth may become loose and fall out.  These diseases usually don’t cause pain, so people are unaware that they have them.

Forty-nine smokers with periodontitis who wished to quit smoking were recruited for the study.  Extent of disease was tabulated.  The patients received periodontal therapy for the first 3 months.  


After 12 months, 10 had continuously quit smoking (20%) and 10 continued to smoke while six “oscillated” (relapsed).  The article states “There were no differences between the groups following treatment with respect to mean clinical or radiographic parameters. Analysis of probing depth reductions between baseline and month 12, however, and comparing quitters with the other two groups combined, demonstrated a significant difference in favour of quitters (p<0.05). Furthermore, quitters were significantly more likely to demonstrate probing depth reductions.”


Dr. Philip Preshaw, the lead researcher told the BBC “Dentists have known for some time that smokers have worse oral and gum health than non-smokers but for the first time we have shown that quitting smoking together with routine gum treatment results in healthier gums.”

By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer




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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:40 PM