Kick the butt: smoking causes gum disease

May 1st, 2008 - 2:55 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, May 1 (IANS) Here is one more reason to kick the butt. Smoking alone accounts for a third of total gum disease, one of the most prevalent of oral complications, according to a new study. Said Loc Do of the University of Adelaide who led the study: “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 percent, could be prevented by not smoking.”

Do’s study uses data collected by the National Survey of Adult Oral Health during 2004-06.

The research found that young and middle-aged adults and adults with lower socio-economic status were more likely to be current smokers, Sciencealert reported.

“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,” 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, Do says.

Findings of the study have been published in the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

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