Older Women Who Smoke Risk Tooth Loss

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013, 4:25 pm

Postmenopausal women who have smoked are at higher risk of tooth loss due to periodontal disease than women who have never smoked. Researchers at the University of Buffalo performed the first comprehensive look at smoking histories and tooth loss.

Smoking has long been associated with losing teeth but women who are past the age of menopause tend to experience more tooth loss than men of the same age. “Regardless of having better oral health practices, such as brushing and flossing, and visiting the dentist more frequently, postmenopausal women in general tend to experience more tooth loss than men of the same age,” said Xiaodan Mai, a doctoral student at the University. He continued “We were interested in smoking as a variable that might be important.”

In this study, heavy smokers were nearly twice as likely to report tooth loss overall and six times more likely to report tooth loss from periodontal disease than those women who had never smoked. Tooth loss is associated with poor health outcomes over time including increased risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

While tooth loss due to periodontal disease increased in smokers, tooth loss due to dental decay did not. This is important because gum disease is a condition that causes inflammation throughout the body and may be related to the development of other diseases.

If you have experienced tooth loss you should know that there are options for replacing missing teeth. Depending upon your overall oral health your dentist may suggest either a dental bridge or dental implants. Dental implants offer several advantages including feeling more like a “real” tooth. Dental implants also help to preserve bone surrounding the missing tooth. Implants can be used to replace just one tooth or even used to anchor full sets of dentures.

Find out more about your options for replacing missing teeth by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9469 to schedule your consultation.

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Category: gum disease, Implants

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