There are a variety of behaviors that can affect a person's dental health, such as how often they brush their teeth and whether they consume acidic foods or drinks.
A study published in the May 2007 issue of the Journal of Periodontology reminds people that smoking can also be a significant factor that impacts oral health.
Researchers in Japan surveyed more than 200 factory workers about a variety of lifestyle factors, including physical exercise, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, diet, stress, working hours and sleep amount.
Analyzing the results, they found a strong link between smoking and periodontal disease. Over 41 percent of respondents who had gum disease were smokers.
Commenting on the findings, president of the American Academy of Periodontology Dr Preston D. Miller Jr. said that it demonstrates the importance of looking at all aspects of a patient's life when addressing dental health issues.
"This study points out to patients that there are lifestyle factors other than brushing and flossing that may affect their oral health," he added.
Using tobacco also increases a person's risk of developing oral cancer.
© 2008 Brafton Inc.
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