Author(s): Johnson GK, Slach NA
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Abstract This article reviews the effects of smoked and smokeless tobacco on periodontal status, including the impact of smoking on periodontal therapy and potential mechanisms for the adverse effects of tobacco on the periodontium. Approximately half of periodontitis cases have been attributed to either current or former smoking. Both cigar and cigarette smokers have significantly greater loss of bone height than nonsmokers, and there is a trend for pipe smokers to have more bone loss than nonsmokers. Unlike smokers, who experience widespread periodontal destruction, the most prevalent effects of smokeless tobacco are localized to the site of placement, in the form of gingival recession and white mucosal lesions. Smoking has an adverse effect on all forms of periodontal therapy, and up to 90 percent of refractory periodontitis patients are smokers. The pathogenesis of smoking-related periodontal destruction has been attributed to alterations in the microflora and/or host response. Some data indicates that smoking may increase levels of certain periodontal pathogens, but there is more evidence that smoking has a negative effect on host response, such as neutrophil function and antibody production. An encouraging finding is that periodontal disease progression slows in patients who quit smoking and that these individuals have a similar response to periodontal therapy as nonsmokers. The facts presented in this paper will assist dental health professionals in treatment-planning decisions and provide them with important information to share with patients who use tobacco products.
This article was published in J Dent Educ
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals