Individuals who smoke are more likely to develop periodontal disease. This elevated risk decreases after quitting and reaches that of a non-smoker at 10 years post-quitting. The risk and severity of developing periodontal disease depends on individual susceptibility in addition to the number of cigarettes smoked per year. Smoking decreases the ablity of the body to repair and increases local inflammation in the gums. It is important that present and past smokers seek out regular dental care to screen for the presence of periodontal disease.