Gum Disease and Smoking – what we know

Gum Disease and Smoking what we know 2

We already know smoking is a main cause of severe gum disease and can have long lasting effects. Gum disease or Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria (plaque) in your mouth – this substance builds up on your teeth and around your gums and irritates them overtime. This is why it is vital to take good care of your oral hygiene. 

Early cases of Gum disease can be treated by maintaining a good level of oral hygiene which includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, as well as cleaning between your teeth and using mouthwash. However, severe cases of Periodontal disease can often result in the loss of your teeth. 

Smoking is very bad for your overall health including your gums, if you smoke you have a much higher risk of developing gum disease and are less likely to reduce its symptoms – the more you smoke, the higher your risk. 

Together, gum disease and smoking are not a good combination, as smoking weakens your body ability to fight infections. To clarify, tobacco use in any form whether it be cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes are extremely harmful to your gums as well as overall health. 

Signs of Gum Disease – what to look out for

  • Red and/or bleeding gums
  • Swelling and sore gums
  • Spitting blood after brushing
  • Halitosis (Bad breath)
  • Metallic taste in your mouth
  • Receding gums (Shrinking gums showing longer teeth)
  • Black triangles between teeth
  • Loose teeth or loss of teeth
  • Gum abscesses

Smoking has been known to disguise the signs of gum disease such as bleeding gums because Nicotine restricts blood flow to your gums.

An effect of smoking with gum disease can deepen the spaces around your teeth (periodontal pockets) and recede your gums and bone support. 

Your gums should usually be a pink colour and if they become red, this may be a sign of periodontal disease. Although heavy smokers may also miss this symptom as smoking long-term can cause your gums to turn grey and discoloured. 

One study found that smokers were twice as likely as nonsmokers to lose teeth in the five years after completing periodontal treatment. In most studies of nonsurgical gum treatment (deep scaling), smokers improved less than nonsmokers. Smokers also don’t respond as well to oral surgery treatments. Dental implants are much more likely to fail in people who smoke, because of poor bone healing. *Source: Colgate

If you’re a smoker and trying to quit, it is imperative you visit your GP and ask for a ‘Quit Smoking’ kit. Speak to Mark Tangri Dental today on 0333 1234 999 and let us talk you through some options to reduce the effects of Gum Disease. 

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