Smokers less likely to go to the dentist

Smokers not only have more problems with their teeth than non-smokers, they also go to the dentist less often.

Those are the findings of a new US government survey, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC looked at 2008 survey responses from more than 16,000 adults ages 18 through 64.

More than a third of smokers reported having three or more dental problems, ranging from stained teeth to jaw pain, toothaches or infected gums. That was more than twice as much as people who never smoked.

But 20% of the smokers said they had not been to a dentist in at least five years.

Only 10% of non-smokers and former smokers had stayed away that long, the study found.

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