If you are a smoker, you have probably already heard many reasons to stop smoking from your family, friends and doctors. You may also have gotten an earful from your dentist. This is because smoking has a very negative affect on your oral health.
Smoking causes your teeth to become yellowed and dingy. It can also lead to bad breath. However, these two problems are the least of your worries when it comes to your oral health. The more pressing concern is the fact that smoking makes you much more likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease: a leading cause of tooth loss. Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the bone and tissues (gums) supporting your teeth. Both current and former smokers have an increased prevalence and severity of periodontal diseases. Additionally, smokers are less likely to respond positively to treatment for periodontal disease than non-smokers.
If you are a smoker and you notice symptoms of red, swollen and/or bleeding gums, these are signs of periodontal disease. If you wear dentures and notice that your dentures are no longer fitting properly or are slipping out, this could also be a sign of periodontal disease. If you have any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. After a thorough evaluation, your dentist can recommend the most appropriate treatment. This may include anti-microbial medication, deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) or even surgery. Your treatment will depend on the severity of the disease.
If you are looking for one more reason to kick the smoking habit, consider your long-term dental health. Stopping smoking now can significantly benefit both your oral health and your overall health.