Cigar And Pipe Smoking Are As Dangerous As Cigarettes To Periodontal Health

CHICAGO January 5, 2001 Cigar smoking has long known to be a habit centered among the young and the affluent. However, many smokers are unaware of the harmful consequences on the teeth and gums. Research published in the Journal of Periodontology indicates that cigar and pipe smoking can have equally detrimental effects on teeth and gums as does cigarette smoking.

The study was conducted over 705 subjects aging 21-92 years of age. It was concluded that 17.6% of those who either currently smoked or who had a history of smoking showed signs of severe periodontitis. This statistic puts smokers at an almost three times greater risk than non-smokers. Moreover, it was found that, of the group of smokers and non-smokers, individuals had on average four missing teeth.

Smokers Have Lower Success Rates With Periodontal Treatment

woman breaking a cigarette in halfCHICAGO October 18, 1999 A study published in the Journal of Periodontology has reported smokers and those with a history of smoking are not only at a greater risk of developing periodontal disease, but are also more likely to respond negatively to treatment. The results are centered on the idea that smokers have lower chances of healing after undergoing non-surgical periodontal treatment.

Of the 35 smokers studied, almost 43% of smoking patients undergoing periodontal treatment needed additional treatment after already undergoing 6-10 professional treatments. On the contrary, it was found that, of the 35 non-smokers tested, approximately 11% of non-smokers required additional periodontal attention.

Tobacco Use And Periodontal Disease

Understand the Dangers:

Research published in March of 1999 in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that the dangers of smoking are severely undermined and underestimated amongst smokers. Despite efforts to raise awareness on the harmful consequences of smoking, only 29% of smokers admit to being at an increased risk of undergoing a heart attack when compared to non-smokers.

It was concluded that, although smokers are continuously informed of the dangers associated with smoking, including lung disease, cancer, heart disease, smokers have largely ignored the risk factors.

In response, in order to garner interest in quitting and increase awareness of the risks associated with smoking, the American Cancer Society is sponsoring the Great American Smokeout on November 18.

On this day, Americans are asked to quit smoking for a 24-hour period in order to encourage someone else to follow their lead and also quit for the day. Hopefully, this interval of non-smoking will encourage smokers to change their lives for the better and quit forever.

The American Academy of Periodontology adds yet another advantage of quitting, protecting against harm to oral health.

In conjunction with the Great American Smokeout, the American Academy of Periodontology has partnered with the Great American Smokeout in order to increase education and awareness on the risk of developing periodontal disease in smokers. Research has concluded that tobacco use is a leading risk factor in those with periodontal disease and that smokers have lower success rates after undergoing periodontal treatment.

Smokers are at a greater risk of developing any of the following problems with oral health:

  • Calculus hardened plaque that can only be removed by a dental professional
  • Formation of pockets between the teeth and gum line
  • Loss of tissue and bone that anchors teeth

Bacteria found in calculus are known to destroy gum tissue and failure to remove calculus by a dental professional can cause gums to recede. In turn, the formation of periodontal pockets and disease-causing bacteria occurs.

Without professional attention, periodontal disease worsens. Pockets that have formed grow increasingly deeper, causing the destruction of bone and tissue. As the gum line recedes, teeth appear longer and can become loose and eventually fall out.

Save Your Smile:

Studies have concluded that those who smoke are at a significantly greater risk of tooth loss. Specifically, data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated that nearly 41.3% of those who smoke on a daily basis and who are over the age of 65 are toothless. On the contrary, an average of 20% of non-smokers over 65 are toothless.

Still, there is incentive to quit smoking as previous smokers who quit before undergoing treatment and non-smokers both have reduced chances of periodontal treatment failure.

Not Just Cigarettes:

Studies have found that even smokeless tobacco can bring about symptoms of periodontal disease and heighten chances of tissue and bone destruction.

A study published in the January 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association has linked cigar and pipe smokers to tooth and bone loss. In fact, pipe smokers were found to experience equal rates of tooth loss than cigarette smokers.

Other Oral Problems:

Additional studies have concluded that the following problems occur at increased rates in tobacco smokers:

  • Oral cancer
  • Foul breath
  • Stained teeth
  • Tooth loss
  • Bone loss
  • Loss of taste
  • Lowered rates of success with periodontal treatment
  • Lowered rates of success with dental implants
  • Gum recession
  • Facial wrinkling

Study Shows Yet Another Reason Why Quitters Are Winners

CHICAGO May 30, 2000 The number one cause of periodontal disease in adults is attributed to smoking, as demonstrated in the results of a study published in the Journal of Periodontology. The researchers discovered that people who currently smoke have a four times higher chance to develop periodontal disease when compared to non-smokers. Still, the effects of smoking can be reversed. It was found that, after having quit for 11 years, former smoker’s chances of developing periodontal disease are not significantly different than the chances of non-smokers.

The study involved 13,650 participants who were 18 years or older. It was the first of its kind to be conducted to analyze the correlation between cigarette smoking and periodontal disease.

A study sponsored by the AAP concluded that nearly 79% of periodontist advice patients to quit their smoking habits. Besides contributing to tooth loss, periodontitis and gum disease is known to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes,
respiratory disease and premature babies.