'Periodontal disease is a major reason for losing teeth as is generally known, but there are some factors that appear to increase one's risk,' said study author Dr. Khalaf F. Al-Shammari, of Kuwait University in Jahra 'These findings may help in educating the public about these factors that appear to increase their risk for losing their teeth and provide increased attention to avoiding such factors.' Al-Shammari and colleagues in Kuwait and Michigan monitored all tooth extractions that were undertaken in 21 general dental practice clinics over a month. The researchers also jotted related factors like age, gender, medical and dental history. In the 30-day period, 3,694 teeth were extracted from 1,775 patients. While only about 30 percent lost their teeth due to periodontal disease, these patients tended to lose more than one tooth. For example, 14 patients had all 28 teeth extracted and among them 12 did so due to severe periodontal disease. Patients aged above 36 were three times more likely to lose a tooth to periodontal disease than patients without the disease. Men were more likely to get their teeth removed for periodontal disease than women and 56 percent of smokers lost their teeth due to periodontal disease.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis were four times as likely to lose a tooth because of periodontal disease, while patients with diabetes were three times as likely to do so. 'It's worth noting that all of these factors have already been linked to periodontal disease development in the past, but this study also links them with the ultimate outcome of untreated dental diseases, which is tooth loss,' Al-Shammari concluded.
The detailed report is published in this month's issue of the Journal of Periodontology.