Smoking limits effectiveness of non-surgical periodontal treatment

on 19th June 2018


Non-surgical periodontal treatment has a more pronounced effect on reducing pocket depth for non-smokers than it does for smokers.

That’s according to a new Swedish study due to be presented at Europerio 9 this week.

The study found that smoking impacts periodontal healing after non-surgical treatment – universally recognised as the ‘gold standard’ of treatment for managing most periodontal patients.

‘Non-surgical periodontal treatment significantly reduced pockets greater than 4mm deep in both smokers and non-smokers,’ said periodontist Dr Aorra Naji, from the Centre for Oral Rehabilitation, Department of Periodontology, Falun, Sweden.

‘Nevertheless, we found that the reduction was more pronounced in non-smokers, one year after treatment.

‘Our aim in this study was to investigate the impact of smoking on periodontal healing one year after non-surgical periodontal treatment.’

Data was obtained on 1551 individuals treated between 1980 and 2015 in a specialised clinic for periodontology in Sweden.

The researchers established that one year after active treatment there was a significant reduction of the clinical parameters among both smokers and non-smokers. While in non-smokers the pocket depth reduction was 72%, in smokers the reduction was 51%, showing that smoking impairs periodontal healing after non-surgical periodontal treatment.

Researchers also found that the proportional reduction of plaque was 69% in non-smokers and 53% in smokers, one year after treatment.

‘Even though this study has some limitations, (retrospective design, we could not analyse the impact of cigarette consumption or how former smoking influences periodontal healing), we found evidence that periodontal non-surgical treatment leads to more pronounced pocket depth reduction in non-smokers,’ said Dr Naji.

He added: ‘Larger studies are needed to investigate the influence of smoking cessation on periodontal healing.’

‘As non-smokers 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.’

The full abstract, titled ‘Impact of smoking on non-surgical periodontal treatment one year after active treatment’, will be on show at Europerio 9’s poster presentation.


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