Smoking is a major cause of gum disease: study

Apr 30, 2008
Cigarette Smoking

Almost a third of the more than two million cases of gum disease among Australians are caused by smoking, according to research by University of Adelaide researchers in the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health (ARCPOH).

The study, led by Research Fellow Dr Loc Do, is the first of its kind in Australia showing the significant impact of smoking on oral health in the population.

"Gum disease is one of the most prevalent forms of oral disease," says Dr Do. "Along with dental caries, it's the main cause of tooth loss in the Australian population.

"There are over two million cases of gum disease in Australian adults, but our study found that up to 700,000 of these, or 32%, could be prevented by not smoking."

Dr Do's study uses data collected in the National Survey of Adult Oral Health, conducted by ARCPOH in collaboration with State/Territory dental organisations during 2004-2006.

The research found that young and middle-aged adults and adults with lower socioeconomic status were more likely to be current smokers.

"The hazardous effect of smoking on gums is higher among the younger population, indicating the desirability of preventing the uptake of smoking in this population," Dr Do said. "Dental professionals should urge potential smokers to avoid the habit and encourage current smokers to stop."

The effect of smoking on gums was due to reduced anti-inflammatory agents in the blood vessels of the gums, restriction in the blood supply to the gum tissue, and more virulent bacteria, Dr Do says.

This study used a national representative sample of adults (15+years) and is published in a paper 'Smoking-attributable periodontal disease in the Australian adult population' in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

Source: University of Adelaide

Explore further: Image-guided treatment shown to break the migraine cycle

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Living in the genetic comfort zone

8 hours ago

The information encoded in the DNA of an organism is not sufficient to determine the expression pattern of genes. This fact has been known even before the discovery of epigenetics, which refers to external ...

An Internet of Things reality check

Feb 09, 2015

Connecting different kinds of devices, not just computers and communications devices, to the Internet could lead to new ways of working with a wide range of machinery, sensors, domestic and other appliances. Writing in the ...

African swine fever threatens Europe

Dec 17, 2014

African swine fever, or ASF, is a viral disease that kills almost every pig it infects and is likened to Ebola. It gained a foothold in Georgia in 2007, when contaminated pig meat landed from a ship from ...

Coming up for air

Oct 29, 2014

Sometimes you've got to hit bottom to battle your way back up. In 1992, the United Nations cited Mexico City as having the worst air quality in the world, with so much pollution that birds sometimes dropped ...

NASA image: Smoke and haze over China

Oct 29, 2014

Smoke and haze hang over a large portion of eastern China in this image captured by the Aqua satellite on October 29, 2014. China uses the method of "slash and burn" agriculture to rid their fields of leftover ...

Recommended for you

Image-guided treatment shown to break the migraine cycle

4 hours ago

An innovative interventional radiology treatment has been found to offer chronic migraine sufferers sustained relief of their headaches, according to research being presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's Annual ...

Home walking program improves erectile function after MI

Feb 27, 2015

(HealthDay)—For men with recent acute myocardial infarction, a home-based walking program is associated with a reduction in reported erectile dysfunction (ED), according to a study published in the March ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.