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Smokers at Increased Risk of Tooth Loss

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Mahak Arya*

* Internee, Yamuna Institute of Dental Sciences and Research, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana – India

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As all we know that smoking is injurious to health. It is bad for your teeth and gums; a study warns that regular and heavy smokers have a significantly increased risk of tooth loss. The findings in the study showed that male smokers are up to 3.6 folds more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers, whereas female smokers have 2.5 folds greater risk. Most teeth are lost as a result of either caries (tooth decay) or chronic periodontitis (gum disease). Smoking is a strong risk factor for periodontitis. Smoking can mask gum bleeding, a key symptom of periodontitis. As a result, the gums of a smoker can appear to be healthier than they actually are. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk fairly quickly. The association between smoking and tooth loss was stronger among younger people than in the older groups.

References

Dietrich T., et al., 2015, “Smoking, smoking cessation, and risk of tooth loss: the EPIC-Potsdam study,” Journal of dental research; 94(10): 1369-1375. [Web Reference]

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