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How Does Tobacco Cause Tooth Loss - Dentist Answer

In this article, we discussed the relationship between smoking and tooth loss. Read how does tobacco cause tooth loss. If tobacco yellows teeth ... it risks especially to make them fall. Researchers have looked at the medical data of several thousand patients, and their conclusions are without appeal: smoking triple the risk of teeth loss.

The study published in the Journal of Dental Research looked at the medical records of 21,810 inhabitants of the Brandenburg region (Germany) recruited between 1994 and 1998 for a health study and followed between seven and thirteen years.

A clear correlation was found between the level of smoking and the likelihood of losing teeth.

Smoking and Tooth Loss

"The association between smoking and the incidence of tooth loss has been higher in men than in women," the authors explain. Men under 50 years of age smoking more than 15 cigarettes a day (referred to in the study as "heavy smokers") had at least a threefold risk of tooth loss compared to non-smokers. In women of the same age, this risk is at least doubled ".

The risk of tooth loss increases with the age of the participants. Before age 50, a non-smoker keeps an average of 27 "true teeth" (an adult normally presents 32) compared to 25 in small smokers and 22 in smokers. Between the ages of 50 and 60, non-smokers retain 23 real teeth as against 20 in smokers and 17 in heavy smokers. And beyond 60 years, the 20 "real teeth" of non-smokers are compared to the 12 of the small smokers and the 10 of the heavy smokers!

Smoking Cessations

The authors note that "smoking cessation is associated with a reduction in the risk of tooth loss, with the risk of tooth loss approaching that of non-smokers after about 10 to 20 years of smoking cessation."

What mechanisms are involved?

The linkage observed in the study is a causal link. Indeed, the mechanisms involved are well known. The cigarette releases heat and particles very aggressive to the gums. This will create inflammation. If this inflammation lasts, the attachments of the gingiva (the alveolar-dental ligament) around the tooth no longer hold correctly. The teeth move and space is created gradually.

Result: food, tartar, and bacteria take advantage of it to enter. A pocket is formed along the root of the tooth. The bacteria multiply, the inflammation worsens and ends up destroying the alveolar bone and the ligament. The tooth is no longer supported, it can be removed and can fall.

Interventions exist to slow the progression of periodontal disease, but it is imperative that the patient stops smoking to allow for scarring.

Similar results are presented for women. Before age 50, non-smokers retain an average of 25 "real teeth" compared to 24 in "small smokers" and 22 in "big smokers". Between 50 and 60, non-smokers retain 20 real teeth (against 18 and 16). Beyond 60 years, non-smokers keep 16 real teeth (against 13 and 12).