People who smoke traditional tobacco cigarettes are up to seven times more likely to lose their teeth than those who do not smoke, a recent study indicates.

Toxins in tobacco can lead to gum deterioration, which can lead to tooth loss. Postmenopausal

female smokers, for whom lower estrogen levels also play a factor in gum health, are at particular risk, according to the study published in March in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

This means that younger women who give up smoking or who switch to an alternative to traditional cigarettes may protect themselves from losing their teeth later in life.