Smoking can harm the long-term effects of some oral surgery procedures

Sept. 28, 2007
Study found people who smoke damaged the long-term stability of certain oral surgical procedures

A study in the September issue of the Journal of Periodontology found that smokers had less desirable long-term results following periodontal plastic surgery than non-smokers.

The study followed 10 smokers and 10 non-smokers for two years to evaluate the effects of cigarette smoke on the long-term outcomes of a treatment to help soft tissue reattach to the root surface of the teeth. After two years, residual gum recession around the area that received the surgery was greater in smokers as compared to non-smokers.

Studies have shown that smoking can impair the body's ability to heal itself immediately after surgery; but this most recent study also showed that when a patient has periodontal plastic surgery, smoking can damage the ability of that procedure to stay intact over a long period of time.

"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 can be undone by
smoking," explained Dr. Preston Miller, Jr., president of the American Academy of Periodontology. "Therefore, it is important patients and doctors agree to a smoking cessation program prior to any periodontal surgery."