Smoking Impairs Healing After Nonsurgical Periodontal Treatment

Dentistry Today


Smoking impacts periodontal healing up to a year after nonsurgical treatment, according to research from the Centre for Oral Rehabilitation in Falun, Sweden, presented at the European Federation of Periodontology’s EuroPerio9 conference, June 20 to June 23 in Amsterdam.

“Nonsurgical periodontal treatment significantly reduced pockets greater than 4 mm deep in both smokers and nonsmokers,” said Dr. Aorra Naji, a periodontist in the Department of Periodontology at the Centre for Oral Rehabilitation. “Nevertheless, we found that the reduction was more pronounced in nonsmokers one year after treatment.”

The researchers obtained data on 1,551 individuals treated between 1980 and 2015 in a specialized clinic for periodontology in Sweden. One year after active treatment, there was a significant reduction of clinical parameters among both smokers and nonsmokers.

But while nonsmokers saw pocket depth reduction of 72%, smokers only saw 51%, showing that smoking impairs periodontal healing after nonsurgical periodontal treatment. The researchers also found that the proportional reduction of plaque was 69% in nonsmokers and 53% in smokers one year after treatment.

“Even though this study has some limitations (retrospective design, we could not analyze the impact of cigarette consumption of how former smoking influences periodontal healing), we found evidence that periodontal nonsurgical treatment leads to more pronounced pocket depth reduction in nonsmokers,” said Naji.

The researchers further noted that larger studies are needed to investigate the influence of smoking cessation on periodontal healing.

“As nonsmokers had more pronounced pocket depth reduction than smokers, it is important for members of the dental profession to work with smoking prevention, for example, by information and motivational interviewing,” said Naji.

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