Smoking and Gum Disease: What’s the Connection?
If you’re still a smoker, no one needs to tell you how bad it is for your health. Smokers have higher rates of throat cancer, lung cancer, and COPD to name a few of the risks associated with the habit.
So, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but smoking also adversely impacts your teeth and gums. If and when it does, gum disease treatment in Tucson, AZ may be necessary.
Smoking and Your Oral Health
As a smoker, you see the obvious effects when you look in the mirror and see dark brown stains on your teeth. But there are numerous other ways it impacts your oral health. Here are just a few:
- Increased plaque and tartar buildup
- Higher risk of gum disease
- Longer healing time after oral surgery
- Increased oral cancer risk
- Increased bone loss in the jaw
How Smoking Causes Gum Disease
Studies link about 40 percent of all cases of gum (periodontal) disease in the US with smoking. Why? Because smoking weakens your immune system, so it’s harder for your body to fight off infection. And smokers often experience delayed healing because of the lack of sufficient oxygen in their bloodstream.
These issues combined not only aggravate the symptoms of gum disease that you already have but also prevent gums from healing when you do get treatment. And since the body can’t protect itself adequately, smokers are at significantly higher risk for severe dental consequences like tooth loss.
What Smokers Can Do to Protect Their Oral Health
There’s no magic formula for protecting your oral health if you’re a smoker other than being more proactive by brushing at least twice a day and flossing once. Routine visits for dental cleanings and exams every six months are also critical because they allow the dentist to check routinely for early signs of gum disease and provide treatment as soon as possible.
We’ll Help You Protect Your Oral Health
At Sabino Hills Family Dentistry, our team will work with you to control these issues. If we find that you need gum disease treatment in Tucson, AZ, you can count on us to get it under control and your oral health back.
Please call us so our team can provide you with the personalized treatment you need!