Smoking and Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, or as it’s commonly known, “gum disease” is an infection that occurs within your gums that can greatly affect the bone structure that supports your teeth. Severe cases, tooth decay, and even loss of teeth entirely. Smoking is a very common cause of gum disease in the United States.

If you are a heavy smoker, here are some things to keep in mind about your oral wellbeing if you choose to continue.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth

How Is Smoking Related to Gum Disease:

Smoking greatly weakens the body’s immune system. This will make it extremely difficult for your body to fight off any type of periodontal infection. Smoking also makes it harder for your gums to heal after your infection has been treated. Tobacco use in all forms such as cigarettes, pipes, and chewing tobacco increases your risk of gum disease.

What does this mean if you’re a smoker:

  • You have twice the risk for gum disease compared with a nonsmoker.
  • The more cigarettes you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease.
  • The longer you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease.
  • Treatments for gum disease may not work as well for people who smoke.

How Can Gum Disease Be Prevented:

To help avoid developing gum disease, follow these dental habits: 

  • Brush your teeth twice a day.
  • Floss often to remove plaque.
  • See a dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.
  • Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit.

How Is Gum Disease Treated?

Scheduling regular cleanings and check-ups with your dentist and brushing and flossing daily can help hinder early gum disease symptoms. 

If you follow these tips, then you will have a better chance of not developing this nasty periodontal infection. For more information on gum disease prevention, contact our offices in Lakewood Ranch or Bradenton, FL to schedule an appointment to speak with Dr. Eastman


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