Link between Smoking and Gum Disease

Link between Smoking and Gum DiseaseMost of those that use tobacco products understand some of the inherent risks of their habit. From various cancers to respiratory conditions, smoking dramatically increases one’s chances for any number of serious medical conditions. There is one side effect of smoking that often remains dangerously neglected though, oral health. This is why our Northridge dentist believes that all smokers should understand the link between gum disease and their use of tobacco.

Gum disease is common in smokers and non-smokers alike. Anyone with a weakened immune system, bad oral hygiene habits, or a chronically dry mouth may find themselves with a mild form of gum disease known as gingivitis. If left untreated, this condition can quickly progress to periodontitis, the most severe stage of gum disease.

This disease is classified as an infection of the gums and is the result of a buildup of plaque and tartar on and around the teeth. Due to the nature of tobacco smoke, many of the chemicals can permeate deep into the microscopic crevices of the gums and teeth. Even with great oral hygiene habits, the plaque could build up under the gums and lead to a serious infection.

For those smokers that would like to preserve their oral health, there are a few steps that must be taken. The first is to schedule a regular periodontal treatment that includes a professional cleaning of calculus, plaque, and tartar deposits. Smokers must also adhere to a strict oral hygiene regime at home. Finally, we suggest that all patients speak with a specialist that will help them to permanently end this habit as quickly and painlessly as possible.

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