Smokers are 50% more likely to develop periodontal disease, even when they maintain a rigorous oral hygiene routine. This is because the chemicals in cigarette smoke attack healthy tissue both externally, through contact, and internally, through the blood stream. Unfortunately, it is this second form of attack that increases the risk of periodontal disease even for nonsmokers who are frequently exposed to secondhand smoke.
A new study from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has found that nonsmokers exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) have a 1.45x greater chance of developing severe and chronic periodontitis than those who are not exposed to secondhand smoke. These forms of periodontal disease can result in tooth loss, chronic pain, and even increase risks for heart attack, hypertension, and a host of other potentially deadly diseases.
Our Mesa dentists encourage smokers to quit and nonsmokers to stay away from areas being polluted by tobacco smoke. Doing so can help decrease risks for this completely avoidable disease and ensure lasting oral health and beauty.