Smoking and gum disease (Periodontal Disease) leads to major tooth loss if not caught early and treated by a dental professional (Periodontist).
Periodontal disease is caused by many factors, but one major factor is smoking, which leads to major gum disease. When you smoke, your body’s immune system is weakened, which means that you have a difficult time fighting off diseases, including infections of the gum. Unfortunately, many smokers don’t quit until it’s too late and they have lost several, if not all of their teeth.
Is It The Smoke Or The Tobacco?
Most of us are aware that tobacco use has been linked to a plethora of serious illnesses. Among them are lung disease, cancer and heart disease to name a few. Using any type of tobacco will affect the gums and teeth. It doesn’t matter if you smoke a cigarette, pipe, vape, or even chewing tobacco – you’re still at a high risk of gum disease leading to tooth loss. In fact, according to perio.org, “Tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.”
Know The Signs.
If you are unsure about whether or not you have periodontal disease, check for the following signs and symptoms:
- Loose and/or sensitive teeth.
- Sensitivity to temperature and pressure change
- Red and/or swollen gums.
- Bleeding gums.
- Pain while chewing
Why Am I at Risk for Gum Disease if I Smoke?
The Journal of Periodontology found that smokers were about four times more likely to have periodontitis (gum disease) than those who have never smoked. However, ex-smokers who have stopped smoking for at least 11 years were not at an increased risk. The research found that approximately 53% of gum disease in this particular study was attributed to current and former smoking. Along with this study, research found that 55% of the subjects in this study were current smokers and almost 22% were former smokers.
What Treatment Is Available?
Once you are diagnosed with gum disease by a professional Periodontist, you will go through a more in-depth hygiene, or “cleaning” visit. After your perio visit, it is up to you whether or not you wish to maintain your hygiene and continue practicing good oral health. Reverting back to smoking, especially directly after your perio visit will cause your gums to revert back to being swollen and red. To prevent this, brush at least twice daily and floss often so that you can remove plaque that may build up over time.
If you or someone you know is trying to quit smoking, a few resources can be found here:
- Be Tobacco Free
- Smoke Free Women
- Smoke Free Teen
- Harms of Smoking and Benefits of Quitting
Advanced Dentistry South Florida is dedicated to providing first class dental services for over three decades, enhancing the overall health of patients from Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach and surrounding areas in South Florida. Whether you are in need of general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, oral surgery, endodontics, periodontics, or even sleep apnea therapy, our elite team of doctors is dedicated to helping you achieve your greatest smile and optimum oral health. Contact us today at 561-495-2099 to schedule your appointment with one of our dental professionals.