Just like with wound healing in general, the capacity of the gums to regenerate is greatly limited in smokers. This means not only that the disease progresses more rapidly but that healing is hampered too. The gums do not adhere to the neck of the tooth again as well and the periodontal pockets are not eliminated as effectively. For this reason, periodontal treatments are not as successful in most cases as in non-smokers.
It is therefore particularly important for smokers who develop periodontitis to give up nicotine consumption. Because of the close link between genetics and smoking, this is especially applicable where a genetic predisposition exists to an increased inflammatory response.