Washington: A new study has found that people who smoke regularly have a higher risk of losing their tooth.
The study conducted by University of Birmingham explained that male smokers are up to 3.6 times more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers, whereas female smokers were found to be 2.5 times more likely.
Thomas Dietrich, the lead author professor, said that most teeth were lost because of caries i.e. tooth decay or chronic periodontitis i.e. gum disease, but smoking was a strong risk factor for periodontitis, that enables the higher rate of tooth loss in smokers.
The study also informed that smoking can mask gum bleeding, a key symptom of periodontitis, because of which the gums of a smoker can appear to be healthier than they actually are until it is quite far down the line.
Also, the link between smoking and tooth loss was stronger among younger people than in the older groups and heavy smokers had higher risk of losing their teeth than smokers who smoked fewer cigarettes.
On a positive note, the research highlighted that quitting smoking can reduce the risk fairly quickly, although an ex-smoker would have the same risk for tooth loss as someone who had never smoked.
The study is published in the Journal of Dental Research. (ANI)