In 2004, the Surgeon General concluded that there was sufficient scientific evidence to show a relationship between tobacco and periodontal (gum) disease. As research continued along these lines, exposure to secondhand smoke has been shown as an additional risk factor when it comes to the susceptibility of gum disease.
A study conducted at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill used data from nearly 2,400 non-smokers, ages 53-74, who had exposure to secondhand smoke for a few hours each day. The conclusion showed that this exposure can double a person’s risk of severe periodontal disease. Those exposed to secondhand smoke for 25 hours or less each week had a 29% increase.
The findings of the study were released in December 2011 in the American Journal of Public Health.