smoking and gum disease

Tobacco Use Directly Affects Prevalence & Progression of Gum Disease

The American Academy of Periodontology warns periodontal (gum) disease is a public health epidemic that affects 47.2% of American adults over the age of 30. They warn the use of tobacco plays a major role in the dominance and severity of gum disease and tooth loss that is affecting the public’s dental health. They urge dentists to educate their patients about negative impacts of tobacco use on dental health as a part of the armamentarium of their dental office.

Quick Facts from AAP Study*

  • Smokers are 2.6 – 6 times more likely to have periodontal destruction than non-smokers
  • Alveolar (tooth socket) bone loss is greater in smokers
  • Direct relationship between amount of tobacco used and severity of gum disease; Attachment loss severity increased by 0.5% for every 1 cigarette smoked
  • Current smokers whose ages range from 19 to 30 years were 4 times more likely to have periodontal disease
  • Smoking cigarettes decreases levels of salivary antibodies which fights against bacteria that causes gum disease
  • Nicotine decreases gingival blood flow; Affecting oral healing
  • Non-smokers and former smokers respond more favorably to periodontal therapy than current smokers
  • Dental Implant success rates are reduced in smokers

*Research Study by The American Academy of Periodontology in August 1999

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