40 million cases – smoking is the leading cause of periodontal disease


40 million severe periodontal disease cases worldwide due to smoking
Periodontitis is characterized by extensive impairment of the periodontium and the resulting loss of teeth. The causes can be many, but according to a recent study smoking has a significant share here. Scientists from the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg and the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel calculated the number of worldwide periodontitis cases, which are caused by smoking – with alarming results.

About 40 million severe cases of parodontitis worldwide are caused by smoking, according to the researchers. Thus, tobacco consumption accounts for a significant proportion of the irreversible inflammatory damage of the periodontium. Particularly affected are middle-aged men. However, differences in prevalence can be clearly seen internationally, the researchers report. Their study results have them in the trade magazine ” Journal of Clinical Periodontology ” released.
One of the main causes of tooth loss is periodontitis, which is often caused by smoking. (Image: Igor Gromoff / fotolia.com)
Irreversible damage and tooth loss
Periodontal disease is a widespread disease that, according to the experts, affects about every second adult. The bacterial chronic inflammation of the tooth bed can lead to irreversible damage and those affected lose their teeth, explains the research team to private lecturer. Falk Schwendicke from the department for tooth preservation and preventive dentistry at the Berlin Charité.
Ten percent of cases in Germany caused by smoking
In their latest study, the researchers have analyzed how many of the severe cases of periodontitis worldwide are caused by smoking. They came to a figure of 40 million sufferers. According to the researchers’ calculations, especially middle-aged men are increasingly developing periodontitis due to smoking. Internationally, however, there are large variations in frequency. “While in Germany around ten percent of the periodontitis cases are due to cigarettes, this percentage is significantly lower, for example in Spain, but also in many African countries,” says the Charité
Smoking is a key risk factor
Using mathematical models fed with data from a peripheral pool for a total of 186 countries, Drs. Schwendicke, dr. Toni Meier from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and Professor dr. Christof Dörfer from the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel. The results make it clear that “smoking is a major risk factor for periodontitis – and this correlation seems to be particularly high in young people,” said Drs. Schwendicke.

Related to other diseases
According to the experts, the fact that periodontitis and smoking are associated with numerous other illnesses is also extremely worrying. “That means: Not smoking and having less periodontal disease is doubly meaningful to prevent heart attacks or strokes,” says Dr. Schwendicke. The researcher hopes that the current findings will also be used for education and prevention measures in periodontitis. In addition, it makes sense “that doctors and dentists increasingly combat smoking as a common risk factor for various diseases.” (Fp)


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