Gum Disease and Smoking

Smoking and gum disease go together like (love and marriage?).  Oral cancer is also linked to smoking.  I often speak with my patients about their smoking habits and their efforts to quit the habit.  Some patients have used the nicotine gum and nicotine patches but with uneven success.

The annual market for nicotine replacement products was over $800 million in 2007, compared to $129 million in 1991.  But now a long-term study of nicotine replacement therapy shows that the approach has no lasting benefit and may backfire.  The study was published this week in the Journal Tobacco Control.  According to the study, nicotine replacement may help people quit but it does not prevent relapse in the longer run.  Motivation, social environment, support from friends and family and workplace rules also play a role.  New smoking laws, media campaigns and tobacco taxes also have an effect.

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