Smokers consistently have lower levels of vitamin C, which is important for optimal healing, especially following invasive procedures. Some studies demonstrated that patients undergoing surgery experience significant reductions in systemic vitamin C levels, presumably due to higher metabolic utilization of existing vitamin pools. However, there appear to be no studies evaluating the effect of non-surgical periodontal therapy on plasma levels of vitamin C. The aim of this study was to evaluate if non-surgical periodontal therapy is able to reduce the plasmatic level of ascorbic acid (AA) in smokers. Twenty-six systemically healthy adult (> 40 years) smokers (10 cigarettes/day for > 5 years) who needed scaling and root planing (SRP) for chronic periodontitis were recruited. The sessions of SRP (per quadrant) were scheduled 7 days apart from each other. Blood was collected by venipuncture before the first session of SRP and at the end of the periodontal treatment. The ascorbate concentrations in plasma were assessed according to a published protocol. A paired t-test (p < 0.05) evaluated the statistical significance of differences between the mean values obtained pre- and post-treatment. In general, there was no significant change in levels of AA; however, in 38% of patients, increased levels of AA in plasma were observed after SRP. In 15% of the patients, no change was noted, while 47% of patients showed a reduction in levels of AA after SRP. It can be concluded that although almost half of individuals presented with reduced levels of ascorbic acid after treatment, SRP did not significantly change the levels of AA in smokers.
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