Help Your Gums - Quit SmokingWednesday, July 28th, 2010, 1:33 pm
It is well known that smoking contributes to harmful bacteria in the mouth and that oral bacteria are responsible for gum disease. Scientists have also known that when smokers quit, the microbe population in their mouths change. What they didn’t know was whether or not smoking could reverse the colonization of bad bacteria.
A new study, which was reported in the July issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, found more good reasons to quit smoking. Patients with chronic gum disease that quit smoking while undergoing treatment had lower number of harmful bacteria in their mouths. Even more impressive – the number of good bacteria increased! A win-win situation for the patient in many ways.
A long term study completed by researchers from The Ohio State University and Newcastle University showed that those study participants that quit smoking had a reduction in their levels of harmful bacteria and an increase in health-associated or “good for you” bacteria. “These results indicate a critical role for smoking cessation counseling in periodontal therapy for smokers,” according to the report.
This study did not include patients that used other forms of tobacco, only smokers. It will be interesting to see if anyone completes a similar study using smokeless forms of tobacco.
Diagnosing and treating gum disease in its early stages is best. However, if you have been living with chronic gum disease for some time don’t despair. Treatment for gum disease has changed significantly over the years and a healthy smile is easier to achieve that you might guess. Call my Toccoa, Georgia office today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your appointment – and if fear or anxiety have been keeping you from visiting the dentist remember that my team and I specialize in making sure your visit is calm and relaxing.