Smokers with chronic gum disease may have improved oral health after quitting, said a study done by researchers of University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Chronic gum disease often has the symptoms like gum inflammation and may lead to loss of teeth if not treated properly. The condition is initiated by the build up of bacteria in the plaque formed on the teeth. The bacteria cause the gums to be inflamed and move away from the teeth. Over the years, the bone structure supporting the teeth also gets destroyed and hence the teeth loss happens.
Research shows that smokers are six times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers as their smoking makes the gums more vulnerable to infections.
Researchers had observed the oral records of 49 smokers with gum disease. They were all counseled for quitting smoking. One fifth of the smokers had quit smoking in the period of one year of the study, with the help of counseling, nicotine replacement therapy and medication. All the patients were also given treatment for their gum disease.
Of the patients who had quit smoking, all of their oral health, especially the health of the gums had improved on quitting smoking. Their oral healths were much better than for those who smoked all of the one year.
Reference: Journal of Clinical Periodontology, July 2005