Does smoking affect our smile? A new study by Coehar shows that the teeth of smokers are significantly less white than those of non-smokers. Quitting is definitely a solution to the problem
The “Hollywood smile” is not just a way to describe the perfectly-aligned-white teeth of international movie stars, but is a precise dental makeover. The aim? Achieving the perfect smile.
This is just an example, but it reveals the importance of taking care of our appearance in our society. But there are bad habits that can spoil teeth whiteness, such as smoking.
The exposure to toxins and to the tar of cigarettes can be the cause of dental discoloration and tobacco stains. Lighting up a cigarette can also increase the risk of gum disease, a condition that can progress faster compared to non smokers.
To address these question, Coehar researchers, coordinated by Riccardo Polosa, Professor of Medicine and Founder of CoEHAR at the University of Catania, and Giovanni Zucchelli, professor of Periodontology University of Bologna, conducted a study to examine and compare the differences in the color of teeth in a group of smokers and non-smokers.
The ODON study have shown that the teeth of smokers are significantly less white than those of non-smokers. Smoking causes dental discoloration that is not permanent and can be reversed by quitting: stopping smoking improves the whiteness of the teeth.
“We are proud of the results of our research showing that smokers’ teeth are significantly less white than those of non-smokers. Moreover, the index of dental whiteness of former smokers is intermediate between that of smokers and that of never smokers” – explains Giovanni Zucchelli, professor of Periodontology University of Bologna.
In general, teeth are evaluated by eye, visually comparing shades based on predefined shade scales. This is a subjective and imprecise method. Digital spectrophotometry measurement of dental shade has been used to objectively compare the shade indices of the white of the teeth between smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers in the research study “Repeatability of dental shade by digital spectrophotometry in current, former, and never smokers
In terms of public health, these studies may have a tremendous impact, according to Riccardo Polosa, Professor of Medicine and Founder of CoEHAR at the University of Catania. People who feel that bad breath or their teeth appearance are a major problem, can be massively influenced by aesthetic considerations to stop smoking.
Using the findings of this study, the authors are now planning to conduct a larger international study that will evaluate the whiteness of teeth in smokers switching to alternative nicotine delivery technologies, such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco.