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Postmenopausal women who smoked are more likely to lose teeth due to periodontal disease
Date:3/1/2013

o report having experienced tooth loss overall and more than six times as likely to have experienced tooth loss due to periodontal disease, compared to those who never smoked.

Participants provided information to researchers using a detailed questionnaire covering smoking history. Each participant also underwent a comprehensive oral examination and reported to the dental examiners reasons for each tooth lost. In some cases, the patient's dental records also were reviewed.

"We found that heavy smokers had significantly higher odds of experiencing tooth loss due to periodontal disease than those who never smoked," explains Mai. "We also found that the more women smoked, the more likely they experienced tooth loss as a result of periodontal disease."

On the other hand, they found that smoking was a less important factor in tooth loss due to caries. That's an important distinction, says Mai. "Periodontal disease is a chronic, inflammatory condition that may be related to the development of cancer," she explains.

The paper notes that cigarette smoke may accelerate periodontal disease and that other studies suggest that chemicals found in smoke may favor plaque-forming bacteria that could reduce the ability of saliva to be antioxidative. Nicotine also has been shown to reduce bone density and bone mineral factors while estrogen hormones have been found to be lower among women who smoke. Mai is now interested in pursuing research that could determine whether smokers with periodontal disease are at even greater risk for certain cancers than smokers without periodontal disease.

"Tooth loss due to periodontal disease is a prevalent condition among postmenopausal women that severely impacts their dietary intake, aesthetics, and overall quality of life," says Mai. "Women now have yet another, very tangible reason for quitting smoking."


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Contact: Ellen Goldbaum
goldbaum@buffalo.edu
716-645-4605
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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