Impact of Smoking Cessation on Periodontitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Prospective Longitudinal Observational and Interventional Studies

Nicotine Tob Res. 2019 Nov 19;21(12):1600-1608. doi: 10.1093/ntr/nty147.


Aims: This systematic review aimed to estimate the effect of tobacco smoking cessation on the risk for periodontitis compared to the risk among never-smokers and to evaluate the effect of tobacco smoking cessation on the clinical outcomes of nonsurgical periodontal treatment.

Methods: Electronic searches were performed in PubMed, Scopus, and Embase. Search strategy included MeSH and free terms: periodontitis, periodontal diseases, smoking, tobacco use, tobacco, tobacco products, cigarette, pipe, and cigar. Only original prospective longitudinal observational and interventional studies that investigated the association between smoking cessation and periodontitis onset or progression were included. Meta-analyses were conducted to summarize the evidence.

Results: A total of 2743 articles were identified in electronic searches; out of which only six were included in the meta-analysis. Pooled estimates showed that the risk of periodontitis incidence or progression among those who quit smoking was not significantly different from the risk for never-smokers (risk ratio [RR] = 0.97; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.87% to 1.08%). Smokers had approximately 80% higher risk of periodontitis than quitters (RR = 1.79; 95% CI = 1.36% to 2.35%) and never-smokers (RR = 1.82; 95% CI = 1.43% to 2.31%). Periodontal therapy resulted in up to 0.2 mm (95% CI = -0.32% to -0.08%) higher gain in attachment level and extra 0.32 mm (95% CI = 0.07% to 0.52%) reduction in pocket depth among quitters over nonquitters after short follow-up (12-24 months).

Conclusions: Few studies on the topic were identified. Smoking cessation reduced the risk for periodontitis onset and progression, and improved the outcomes of nonsurgical periodontal therapy.

Implications: This review provides the first quantitative evidence of the impact of smoking cessation on the risk for periodontitis onset and progression. The findings have demonstrated that the risk for periodontitis becomes comparable to that of never-smokers and that nonsurgical periodontal treatment outcomes improve after smoking cessation. Dental professionals ought to consider smoking cessation interventions as a relevant component of the periodontal therapy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Periodontitis / etiology
  • Periodontitis / prevention & control*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*