Did you know–smoking is a leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States? Nearly half a million deaths are related to some form of smoking every year, while it’s estimated that 40 million adults continue to smoke. The easy accessibility and high addiction rate of smoking seems to propel this number, especially in teens under the age of 18. This is why dental professionals are striving to bring awareness to smoking and oral health.
With obvious dental problems such as bad breath and tooth discoloration, smoking, including pipe and cigar smoking, increases the presence of plaque and tartar on teeth. If allowed to “sit” on teeth and gums, the mouth becomes a breeding ground for the development of periodontal (gum) disease. Maybe you’ve noticed that your gums are pulling away or receding from your teeth. This is because smoking affects the attachment of bone and soft tissues. To better understand, imagine that teeth become infected by early stage gum disease. This means that there is inflammation present along the gums, making them red and puffy. As one continues to smoke, blood flow to the gum tissues is impaired. This means that gum disease will accelerate, as the body’s ability to fight infection is also affected. Over time, the result is tooth loss, and even bone loss in the jaw. Thus, smoking has a damaging domino affect on teeth and gums.
If I Give Up Smoking, Will My Oral Health Improve?
For many smokers, especially those that have been smoking for a long time, some wonder if their oral health will improve if they give it up. The answer is easy–YES. Dental professionals want you to know–giving up smoking, along with a commitment to good oral care, can significantly improve your gum health and slow the progression of chronic gum disease.
At Grateful Dental, Dr. Leia Porcaro understands the importance of patient education when it comes to gum health. As gum disease is generally painless, smokers may be unaware that they are at risk for losing their teeth, not to mention other serious diseases. Thus, before tooth disease takes hold, call Grateful Dental today. We are happy to partner with you for greater oral health that will improve your smile and prolong your life.