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40 million cases - smoking is the leading cause of periodontitis


40 million severe periodontitis cases worldwide due to smoking

Periodontitis is characterized by extensive impairments of the tooth support system and consequent tooth loss. The causes can be varied, but according to a recent study, smoking has a significant share here. Scientists from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and Christian Albrechts University in Kiel calculated the number of cases of periodontitis worldwide that can be attributed to smoking - with a frightening result.

Around 40 million serious periodontitis cases worldwide are caused by smoking, according to the researchers' calculations. This means that tobacco consumption has a significant share in the irreversible inflammatory damage to the tooth-holding apparatus. Middle-aged men are particularly affected. Internationally, however, there are significant differences in prevalence, the researchers report. They have their study results in the specialist magazine "
Journal of Clinical Periodontology ”published.

Irreversible damage and tooth loss

Periodontitis is a common disease that affects around every second adult, according to the experts. The bacterial chronic inflammation of the tooth bed can lead to irreversible damage and those affected lose their teeth, explains the research team led by private lecturer Dr. Falk Schwendicke from the department for tooth preservation and preventive dentistry at the Berlin Charité.

Ten percent of cases in this country are caused by smoking

In their current study, the scientists analyzed how many of the severe cases of periodontitis worldwide are due to smoking. The number of people affected was 40 million. According to the researchers' calculations, middle-aged men in particular are increasingly developing periodontitis due to smoking. Internationally, however, there are large fluctuations in frequency. "While around ten percent of periodontitis cases in Germany can be attributed to cigarettes, this percentage is significantly lower in Spain, for example, but also in many African countries," said the Charité

Smoking is a key risk factor

Using mathematical models that were fed with data from a comprehensive pool for a total of 186 countries, Dr. Schwendicke, Dr. Toni Meier from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and Professor Dr. Christof Dörfer from Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel carried out their calculations. The results make it clear that "smoking is a key risk factor for periodontitis - and this connection appears to be particularly high among young people," said Dr. Schwendicke.

Connection with other diseases

According to the experts, the fact that periodontitis and smoking are associated with numerous other diseases is also extremely worrying. "That means: Not smoking and having less periodontitis makes double sense to prevent heart attacks or strokes," emphasizes Dr. Schwendicke. The researcher hopes that the current findings will also be used for educational and preventive measures for periodontitis. In addition, it makes sense "that doctors and dentists fight smoking increasingly as a common risk factor for various diseases." (Fp)

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