With all the countless anti-smoking ads, signs and pamphlets—even those graphic warnings printed right on the package of cigarettes—virtually everyone knows that smoking is bad for the body. Smoking can lead to severe health problems, including lung disease, heart disease and the dreaded cancer.
Not everyone knows, however, that smoking also has significant effects on oral health. Recently, a new study, published September this year in the Journal of Dental Research, has in fact proved that regular smokers have a significantly increased risk of tooth loss.
What the New Study Says
This is the result of a long-term longitudinal study conducted by researchers at the German Institute of Human Nutrition and the University of Birmingham. The researchers examined a group of more than 23,000 subjects to understand the relationship between cigarette smoking and the rates of tooth loss.
According to the researchers’ observation, male smokers were 3.6 times more likely to lose their teeth compared to non-smokers. Women smokers, on the other hand, were 2.6 times more likely.
How Smoking Leads to Tooth Loss
People lose their teeth mostly due to periodontitis and tooth decay. Smoking is a known contributor for periodontitis, which goes a long way in understanding the higher risk of tooth loss in smokers compared to non-smokers.
Smoking also masks bleeding gums, which is a key symptom of periodontitis. Because of this, people do not see the problem until it is already too late.
Fortunately, quitting smoking can reduce the risk. A person who quits smoking would have the same risk of tooth loss as a non-smoker eventually, although this can take more than a decade.
Tooth Loss: Still a Major Health Concern
Tooth loss remains a huge health problem across the globe. In the United Kingdom alone, about 15 percent of seniors between the ages of 65 and 74, as well as 30 percent of seniors aged 75 and above are have lost all of their natural teeth. The global figure, on the other hand, is 30 percent for 65 to 74 year olds.
Missing teeth, overall, do not allow too many people to fully enjoy what life has to offer. Fortunately, today’s modern cosmetic dentistry in Marylebone, such as dental implants can help replace everything from a single missing tooth to a missing arch.
Dr David Madruga, an implant surgeon in London, offers the treatment. He carries out all forms of implant dentistry, from basic dental Implantology to more complex cases.
Schedule a consultation with Dr David Madruga today.