Gingivitis Smoking increases the risk of toothache
An international research team found in a long-term study that smoking significantly increases the risk of tooth loss. This is due to more frequent gingivitis of tobacco consumers. The risk can also be quickly reduced again.
Increased risk of early tooth loss
That smoking harms health has long been known. Again and again new investigations are published, which prove further dangers of the tobacco consumption. A recently published long-term study by an international research team now shows that smokers also have a significantly higher risk of losing their teeth at an early age. According to the study of the German Institute for Nutritional Research (DIfE) under the direction of Heiner Boeing, the risk for smokers of prematurely losing their teeth was 2.5 to 3.6 times higher than for non-smokers. The scientists had observed over 23,300 participants. The results were recently published in the journal "Journal of Dental Research".
More frequent gingivitis in smokers
As the DIfE emphasized, tooth decay and gingivitis are the main causes of tooth failure. Therefore, dentists advise again and again to pay attention to bleeding gums and other typical instructions to avoid impending tooth loss. According to the authors of the study, smoking is a risk factor for periodontitis. Therefore, the link between smoking and tooth loss is due to more frequent gingivitis among tobacco consumers. The extent to which smoking also increases the risk of tooth decay has not yet been clarified.
Reduce risk quickly by quitting smoking
But the researchers also have good news. They reported that people who quit smoking can already reduce their risk level in a short period of time and eventually sink it to a person who has never smoked. "The latter, however, can take over 10 years," said first author Thomas Dietrich of the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom). Study leader Heiner Boeing said that one has to persuade people to "stay non-smokers or become one now. Smoking shortens the lifetime. No smoking is good for the lungs and blood vessels and, according to our findings, also leads to good dental health into old age. "
Without smoking, people are better off
About 20 percent of the German population aged 65 to 74 are affected by edentulism, according to DIfE. Earlier studies have suggested that smoking increases the risk of early tooth loss. The new long-term study underpins the findings. How smoking cessation works is highly dependent on each individual. Some help nicotine patches or gums, others rely on a behavioral therapy. The fear of cessation is at least unfounded, according to health experts. Investigations showed that former tobacco consumers improved significantly after quitting smoking. (Ad)