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Quit smoking for healthier gums

by Medindia Content Team on  October 2, 2005 at 1:45 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Quit smoking for healthier gums
That smoking wrecks havoc on your lungs is a well-known fact. This habit does not spare your mouth as well. Besides conferring the peculiar smokers' breath, chronic smoking injures the teeth, causing the distinctive brownish black discoloration and harms the gums as well. The frequency of tooth loss in chronic smokers' has been well documented. The reason for this is that smokers' are more prone to develop chronic periodontitis, the disease that affects the gums, thereby weakening their hold on the teeth. Consequently, teeth lose their support and thus are more prone to falling off.
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A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology has found that smokers who quit the habit have a greater chance of saving their teeth than non-smokers. The research, which was conducted at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, tracked a group of 49 chronic smokers over a year and counseled them to kick the habit. Around one-fifth of the smokers quit and it was found that this segment had improved gum health as compared to the group that did not quit.

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Dr Philip Preshaw a clinical lecturer in Periodontology with Newcastle University's School of Dental Sciences and the leader of the research tem observed that quitting smoking increased the chances of preserving teeth till 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," he concluded.
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