How Smoking Contributes to Gum Disease

Dr. Eastman is a periodontist in Sarasota, FL who cares about his patients. In honor of National Gum Care Month, we would like to remind our patients of the connection between smoking and gum disease.

How Smoking Relates to Gum Disease

We know that quitting smoking can be difficult. While the process is hard, the rewards are well worth the discipline it takes to quit. Here are some quick facts that may help aid your decision.

  • Smokers are twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop gum disease.
  • The more frequently someone smokes, the higher his likelihood of acquiring the disease.
  • Longevity also factors into one’s chances. Someone who has smoked for a longer period of time has a higher chance of developing gum disease.
  • Treatments may not be as effective for smokers.

How Does Smoking Contribute to Gum Disease?

There is a direct correlation between smoking and gum disease. Smoking lowers a person’s immune system, which puts gums at risk. Patients first develop gingivitis, which results from plaque buildup on teeth. The plaque is essentially hardened germs that have not been properly removed. With periodontitis, plaque eventually causes pockets between the teeth and gums that create infection. These pockets can lead to teeth pulling away from the roots.

Signs of Gum Disease

Both smokers and nonsmokers can look out for signs of gum disease. The most common are:

  • Bleeding gums after brushing or flossing
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Receding gums

Sometimes these signs can go undetected, so it is always a good idea to keep twice-yearly appointments for regular cleaning.

If you have been thinking about quitting smoking, what better time than National Gum Care Month! For those who need care for already present gum disease, there are many options available for treatment. Fortunately, it is possible to reverse gum disease, and starting new healthy habits can prevent it from recurring.

To get a thorough evaluation and to have Dr. Eastman go over treatment options, contact our West Bradenton office at 866-910-0629 or our Lakewood Ranch office at (941) 585-0869.


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