Smoking promotes tooth loss

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Smoking can promote tooth loss, according to a report by the German Dental Association.

(2010-05-11) Smoking is harmful to the human organism in many ways. Smoking also promotes tooth loss, according to a report by the German Dental Association and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). According to the experts, the risk of tooth loss is twice as high for smokers as for non-smokers. Because smokers suffer much more often from periodontitis (periodontitis). Periodontitis leads among other things to loosen the teeth. With periodontitis, the shrinkage of the tooth bed starts from the bone and connective tissue and gums. It is typical for illness that the entire dentition is affected almost exclusively. Gum loosening then occurs as a result.

The scientists blame pollutants in tobacco smoke, which probably lead to tooth loosening. This sets in motion immunological processes that damage the jawbone. "What is particularly tricky is that smoking suppresses bleeding gums, which is a typical sign of periodontitis and a warning for the disease," said the experts in the report. As a result of this process, smokers notice the disease very late.

Terrifying: Around 70 percent of patients with chronic periodontal disease are smokers. The risk of suffering from this disease is five to six times higher for smokers than for non-smokers. The more the person smokes, the more difficult the disease is. If the disease is recognized in good time, this can also be stopped. But the treatment is very tedious and the patient has to work very well.

Smoking can also lead to oral cancer. In addition to tooth and gum disease, smoking can also cause oral cancer. Depending on how much a patient smokes, the risk of developing cancer increases one to six times compared to non-smokers. According to the report, approximately 4,500 people die from oral cancer. The main victims are men. In 2007, this type of cancer was in 7th place, among women in 16th place of all cancer-related deaths.

Dentists want to participate more intensively in the "Stop Smoking" project. In the future, dentists want to participate more in the "Noise Stop" project. In Germany, around 76 percent of adults and about 66 percent of adolescents go to the dentist at least once a year, "said Dietmar Oesterreich, Vice President of the German Dental Association. The dentist visits should now be used to advise patients and offer support to quit smoking. (sb)

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