Smoking found to harm oral surgery outcome

Smokers who are considering private dentistry may want to think about giving up cigarettes first, as a new study has found that smoking can affect the outcome of oral surgery.

Researchers from the American Academy of Periodontology found that smokers had poorer long-term results following periodontal plastic surgery.

The study, published in the Journal of Periodontology, followed ten smokers and ten non-smokers for two years to determine the effect of cigarette smoke on their dental treatment.

The patients were all undergoing treatment to help reattach soft tissue to the root surface of their teeth.

However, the researchers found that smokers exhibited a greater degree of residual gum recession than non-smokers by the end of the two-year study period, suggesting that smoking prevented the procedure from being successful.

Preston Miller Junior, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, said: "People who smoke and have had some sort of periodontal plastic surgery should be aware of the negative side-effects of smoking.

"It can be costly to have to repeat a surgery because the desirable outcomes might have been undone by smoking," he noted, adding that patients should therefore agree to a smoking cessation programme prior to surgery.

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