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: Experimental Ebola drug heals all monkeys in study (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why do some controversies persist despite the evidence?

Aug 04, 2014

The debate over climate change is relatively young while nuclear power and pesticides have been heated topics since the 1960s, and fluoridation since the 1950s. So what is it about these scientific controversies that ma ...

Guns aren't the only things killing cops

Apr 11, 2014

The public does not realize—in fact, police themselves may not realize—that the dangers police officers are exposed to on a daily basis are far worse than anything on "Law and Order."

The small but mighty chickpea

Mar 31, 2014

Bumping along the dirt roads of rural southeastern Turkey in a battered Jeep, Sergey Nuzhdin and his team of collaborators got an occasional glimpse of the plumes of smoke rising across the border in war-torn ...

Recommended for you

Ebola in mind, US colleges screen some students

21 hours ago

University students from West Africa may be subject to extra health checks when they arrive to study in the United States as administrators try to insulate their campuses from the worst Ebola outbreak in ...

User comments : 0