There has always been a significant link between smoking and gum disease. According to a new study at Ohio State University, smoking causes the body to turn against its own helpful bacteria, leaving smokers more vulnerable to gum disease, and tooth decay. Smokers suffer from a much higher rate of oral disease than the non smoking population.
Some of the FACTS in the relationship of SMOKING and PERIODONTAL (GUM) DISEASE :
1. Smokers have more dental and periodontal disease than non-smokers. Many studies show that smokers have fewer teeth, more cavities, 67% higher chance of tooth loss and more bone loss than non-smokers.
2. A survey conducted found that 50% of our patients are smokers compared to a national average of 20%-22% smokers in the population. This indicates that more people with serious periodontal disease ARE SMOKERS.
3. The highest percentages of our patients with advanced disease were young female smokers. Smoking is particularly harmful to this group of young patients and advanced disease means more complex and costly treatment with less favorable results.
4. The nicotine in cigarettes causes constriction of blood vessels. This results in less visible signs of inflammation, less gum bleeding and disruption of your defense mechanism to mouth bacteria.
5. Smoking causes an increase in many of the harmful bacteria responsible for gum pockets, bone loss and gum infections.
6. The results of periodontal (gum) treatment and wound healing are less favorable in smokers compared to non-smokers. Gum problems may reoccur more frequently in-patients who are smokers.
7. Smoking alters your defense mechanism against oral bacteria. Studies show 50% reduction of action of white blood cells responsible for killing bacteria in smokers.
8. The gum tissues around the upper front teeth are often greatly affected by the chemicals of cigarettes.
9. Periodontal disease gets a head start with smokers because smoking masks the telltale signs of gum disease.
"Quit Smoking Is The Only Way To Prevent Oral health problems."
The best way to prevent or reverse smokers gum disease is to quit smoking. While gum health depends greatly on a person’s dental hygiene and routine dental checkups, prevention and effective treatment of gum disease should include a smoke-free lifestyle. Quitting smoking is important to allow the body to respond completely any dental treatment and restore the health of your gums. Smoking is an addiction and quitting is a challenge but one that is well worth the benefits.