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Salem Hypnosis Research Articles – Smoking to Chronic Gum Disease

Salem Hypnosis Research Articles – Researchers Link Smoking to Chronic Gum Disease

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Researchers Link Smoking to Chronic Gum Disease

MICHAEL DISALVO -PCH

News flash: smoking is bad for your…teeth?

While heart disease and cancer often make the list as negative side effects of smoking, most people don’t think about their oral health when they reach for a cigarette. According to recent research, though, they should. Dental researchers at the University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom have found that people who smoke are more likely to suffer from chronic gum disease.

Chronic gum disease occurs when bacteria builds up in plaque, the sticky white substance that forms on teeth if they aren’t cleaned properly. The condition is characterized by inflamed gums, which gradually recede from the teeth, leading to tooth loss in advanced stages if preventative action is not taken. The disease is often painless, which means it usually is only discovered upon a visit to the dentist.

The research, published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, followed 49 smokers with chronic gum disease over the course of one year. The participants were all given treatment for their gum disease, as well as aids to kick their habit. The study found that those who quit smoking were more likely to see an improvement in their symptoms. At the same time, smokers are six times more likely to develop gum disease than nonsmokers, because of the detrimental effect smoking has on the immune system.

The UK researchers aren’t the only ones to see a link between dental health and smoking. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) has also recognized the connection. In fact, the staggering oral and general health statistics related to smoking have led the ADHA to focus on tobacco use during the 2005 National Dental Hygiene Month this October.

“Dental Hygienists are the frontline of defense against oral disease,” said Katie L. Dawson, RDH, BS, ADHA president. “They have a responsibility to educate their patients about how tobacco use and heart disease are interrelated with oral health.”

Meanwhile, dental students at Newcastle are now learning how to counsel their patients on the subject of smoking and oral health. Study leader Philip Preshaw, a clinical lecturer at the University of Newcastle’s School of Dental Sciences, said people should stop smoking if they want to increase their chances of keeping their teeth into old age.

“Dentists have known for some time that smokers have worse oral and gum health than non-smokers but for the first time we have shown that quitting smoking together with routine gum treatment results in healthier gums,” said Preshaw.

“It is very important to look after your teeth, because losing them will have a huge influence on your life,” Preshaw added. “Not only will this affect your appearance, it can also impact on your confidence, lifestyle, and so much more.”


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