Add another penalty for smoking cigarettes: an increased risk of developing severe gum disease.
A study conducted by researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo says cigarette smoking is one of four factors that cause periodontal problems.The biggest factor is age. Those over 45 are the most likely to have periodontitis, and the risk increases with age.
Cigarette smoking is the No. 2 risk, with the likelihood increasing with the number of cigarettes smoked daily. Light smokers have twice the risk of nonsmokers, and pack-a-dayers have four times the risk of nonsmokers.
The other hazards: diabetes and infections by two bacteria, P. gingivalis and B. forsythus.
- Don Kirkman