Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Quitting smoking could save your teeth, study shows

18.07.2005


SMOKERS who give up are much less likely to lose their teeth prematurely than those who don’t kick the habit, pioneering research has shown.



Dental researchers at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, observed a group of cigarette smokers with chronic gum disease over one year and found some symptoms were more likely to improve in the people who quit during the study period.

Chronic gum disease, which is characterised by inflamed gums that increasingly recede from the teeth, can lead to tooth loss in its advanced stages if preventive action is not taken.


The researchers’ findings, revealed today in the academic publication, the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, therefore provide yet another reason for the 12 million UK adult smokers (just over one-quarter of the adult population) and smokers worldwide to quit their habit for the good of their health.

Statistics show that smokers are still up to six times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers, because the detrimental effect the habit has on their body’s immune system makes them less well-equipped to fight back.

The study, which is the first of its kind, followed 49 smokers with chronic gum disease over one year. All were encouraged to stop smoking through counselling and, in some cases, using nicotine replacement therapy and/or medication. All of the patients also received treatment for their gum disease.

One-fifth of the patients quit smoking, and in those patients, gum health was significantly improved compared to those who continued to smoke over the 12 months

Gum disease is initiated by a build up of bacteria in plaque, the sticky white substance that accumulates on the teeth if they are not properly cleaned. The bacteria cause the gums to become inflamed, and they begin to recede from the teeth. At the same time, the bone that holds the teeth in place is gradually destroyed so that over a number of years, teeth may start to become loose and may fall out, or need to be extracted. /1of 3 mf

The disease is usually painless and thus only discovered when people visit their dentist. The progression of chronic gum disease can often be prevented by a good, daily oral health routine, together with preventive care by a dentist and dental hygienist.

Dr Philip Preshaw, a clinical lecturer in periodontology (the specialist’s term for gum disease) with Newcastle University’s School of Dental Sciences, led the research. He said: “Our study shows that people should stop smoking now if they want to increase their chances of keeping their teeth into old age.

“Often the dentist is in the best position to help them stop smoking, because most people, if they are going for regular dental appointments, have more contact with him or her than with their doctor.

“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.”

Dr Preshaw added: “It is very important to look after your teeth, because losing them will have a huge influence on your life. Not only will this affect your appearance, it can also impact on your confidence, lifestyle, and so much more.

“For example, losing teeth could prevent you from eating a healthy diet. You are less likely to chose to eat something like an apple if your teeth are loose, because it would be difficult to bite and chew it.”

The UK Government’s Department of Health has promoted the idea of smoking cessation counselling by dentists, and dental students at Newcastle University are now taught how to counsel patients on this issue as part of their degree. Newcastle Dental Hospital has a full-time smoking cessation counsellor to whom patients can be referred.

Professor Raman Bedi, the Government’s Chief Dental Officer, welcomed this research, stating: “Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for periodontitis, which affects the support structures of the tooth and is an important cause of tooth loss.

“All members of the dental team, just like any health professional, can play an important role in helping people stop smoking. On 31 May 2005 the UK hosted the launch of the World Health Organisation World No Tobacco Day, and its theme focused upon how to engage health professionals at every level in tobacco control.

“Newcastle University’s Dental School is a shining example by ensuring dental students are now taught how to counsel patients on this issue as part of their dental degree.”

Amanda Sandford, Research Manager for ASH, commented: "As gum disease is often painless, smokers may be completely unaware of the impact their smoking can have on oral health.

“But the increased risk of tooth loss may be enough to persuade many to quit smoking. Dentists must do all they can to inform patients of the risks and to assist patients who smoke to stop before the disease takes hold."

The research was funded by the Special Trustees of the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Dr Philip Preshaw | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press.office

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>