One less reason to light up

By Rabia Mughal, contributing editor

September 23, 2007 -- There are lots of good reasons to stop smoking, and now the Journal of Periodontology has yet another one. According to a new study published in the September issue of the journal, smokers take far longer to recover from periodontal plastic surgery than non-smokers.

The study looked at 10 smokers and 10 non-smokers for two years. Both groups underwent treatment to help soft tissue reattach to the root surface of the teeth. After two years, the smokers had greater residual gum recession (1.28 mm) than non-smokers (0.55 mm). Smokers also had less root coverage (53.8 percent) than non-smokers (78.7 percent).The study concluded that smoking has a negative effect on several physiologic and cellular functions, which can lead to poorer results.

"People who smoke and have had some sort of periodontal plastic surgery should be aware of the negative side effects of smoking. It can be costly to repeat a surgery because the desirable outcomes can be undone by smoking," said Preston D. Miller, Jr., DDS, and President of the American Academy of Periodontology in a press release.

The study, "Coronally Positioned Flap for Root Coverage in Smokers and Non-Smokers: Stability of outcomes between 6 months and 2 years," appears in the September issue of the Journal of Periodontology.


Copyright © 2007

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