The Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry published a study in the Journal of the American Dental Association. The study, entitled “smokers may experience poorer bone regeneration than nonsmokers after periodontal treatment,” involved a systematic review and meta-analysis, meaning it thoroughly examined a host of previous studies on related subjects to form a conclusion.
The authors pulled data from ten different studies to reach their conclusions. They concluded that smoking seems to impair regeneration of bone defects following periodontal treatment.
It’s common knowledge that smoking contributes to the risk of periodontal (gum) disease. Though it has been known for some time that smoking has negative effects on the gums and other soft tissues of the mouth, the link between smoking and bone regeneration hasn’t been thoroughly explored.
You may be wondering what bone regeneration has to do with periodontal disease. Aren’t your gums separate from your teeth and bones?
Well, yes and no. While your gums are comprised of soft tissue, they protect the bones inside your mouth including your teeth. When gum disease becomes severe enough and persists for a length of time, the effects can be so dire they start to affect the bone beneath the gum line.
Occasionally, surgery is the only way to treat periodontal disease, and dentists may be forced to use pieces of bone to fill in spaces where bone has deteriorated. They might also do the same with tissue.
After treatment, a bone that has been tampered with in an effort to heal the gums must heal itself. This process that takes the time and leaves the bone more vulnerable as it heals. According to the authors of this study and their review of ten different studies comparing bone regeneration rates among smokers versus that of nonsmokers, those who smoke take longer to heal from any bone defects associated with the treatment of periodontal disease than those who do not.
If you are a smoker, keep in mind these findings when seeking treatment for periodontal disease. Also, know that tobacco use in any form raises the risk of gum disease. The more tobacco you use, the higher your risk.
Dr. Michael McBride has thirty years’ experience in treating oral health conditions like periodontal disease. He will assess your condition and approach your care with compassion. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today.