Heavy smokers are prone to high risk of tooth loss, tooth decay and gum disease, as disclosed in a long-term longitudinal research conducted at the University of Birmingham and the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Germany. The study also stated how smoking helps in concealing gum diseases.
The study, which involved the participation of 23,376 people, highlighted that the chances of male smokers to suffer from tooth loss are 3.6, while, in the case of female smokers, it is 2.5 times. The reason behind conducting this research is to find the link between tooth loss, smoking cessation and smoking between various age groups. The details of the investigation have been published in Journal of Dental Research.
Thomas Dietrich, the lead author of the study from the University of Birmingham, stated, “Most teeth are lost as a result of caries (tooth decay) or chronic periodontitis (gum disease).” The author explained that gums of a smoker appear to be healthier than of a non-smoker as it succeeds in hiding the main symptom of periodontitis, gum bleeding.
“It’s unfortunate that smoking can hide the effects of gum disease as people often don’t see the problem until it is quite far down the line,” explained Dietrich, further adding, “The good news is that quitting smoking can reduce the risk fairly quickly. Eventually, an ex-smoker would have the same risk for tooth loss as someone who had never smoked although this can take more than ten years.”
As per the researchers, tooth loss and tooth decay are the initial symptoms before smoking causes life-threatening diseases including lung cancer. Hence, once the dental problems begin, the smoker should immediately quit it. The study also declared that involvement of younger generation in smoking is more; that’s why they suffer from tooth problems. Hence, the more you smoke, the higher are the chances of tooth loss.