Passive smoking triples men’s gum disease risk: survey


Passive smoking raises the risk of periodontal disease for nonsmoking men by about 3.1 to 3.6 times, compared with men in smoke-free environments, according to a survey by Japanese researchers.

A research team led by the National Cancer Center and Tokyo Medical and Dental University conducted follow-up dental checkups between 2005 and 2006 for 1,164 people, who lived in Akita Prefecture, in 1990 and were then aged between 40 and 59.

The survey found that 11 out of 30 male nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home had severe periodontal disease. The proportion was about 3.1 times higher than that of nonsmokers with no passive smoking exposure.

Of 37 male nonsmokers exposed to cigarette smoke at home, at work and in other places, 13 had severe periodontal disease. The risk was about 3.6 times higher than that of male nonsmokers with no such passive smoking exposure.

The relationship between women’s smoking habits and periodontal disease was unclear, according to the team.

Smokers are likely to suffer from periodontal disease as smoking promotes the growth of periodontal bacteria and weakens immunity, according to Tokyo Medical and Dental University Associate Prof. Masayuki Ueno, a member of the research team.

The survey showed that passive smoking poses a similar risk to that of smoking, Ueno said.