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 The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

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: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>