A new law that started in 2013 required all cigarette packs being sold in the UAE to bear ghastly graphic warnings of the dangers of smoking. Despite the many public health advisories, an alarming number of smokers continue with this deadly habit.
Most people are aware that smoking causes cancers and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Did you know that smoking also causes tooth loss and periodontal (gum) disease?
Recently, researchers discovered that postmenopausal women who have smoked are at much greater risk of losing their teeth than women who never smoked.
“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,” says Xiaodan Mai, a doctoral student in epidemiology in the UB Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in the School of Public Health and Health Professions.
The researchers also say that heavy smokers (defined as those who had at least 26 pack-years of smoking, or the equivalent of having smoked a pack a day for 26 years) were nearly twice as likely to report having experienced tooth loss overall and more than six times as likely to have experienced tooth loss due to periodontal disease, compared to those who never smoked.