Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. The infection eats away the bone, making the tooth lose and fall out in the end. Gum disease is often referred to as the silent killer since most people only realize they have it too late.
Unfortunately, the infection affects everyone, regardless of their age, gender, or race. However, smokers are often at a higher risk of getting the infection than non-smokers. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), smokers are at least four times more likely to get the periodontal disease than non-smokers.
The longer a person smokes, the higher the risk of getting gum disease. In this blog, we will discuss gum disease in detail to help you make informed decisions. We are here for you if you are looking for a gum specialist near you in North Brunswick, NJ.
We all know that smoking is bad, not just for your oral health but also for your overall health. For example, tobacco is a leading cause of lung cancer, which has claimed thousands of lives. It also increases the risk of other deadly diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, bronchitis, and more. What’s more, smoking stains your teeth, affecting the appearance of your smile.
Typically, gum disease is caused by plaque buildup between and around your teeth leading to gingivitis. The buildup then irritates the gums, and they can become swollen, red, and sometimes they can bleed while brushing your teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis can become more severe, leading to gum disease and eventual tooth loss.
Now, when you smoke, your immune system is weakened, reducing the ability of your body to fight periodontal disease.
That’s not all; smoking usually masks the signs of periodontitis. Typically, the most common signs of gum disease are red and puffy gums that can bleed while brushing or flossing. But with smokers, their gums are often harder, and they rarely bleed even when they have gum disease. This can make the person think that they are healthy, but in a real sense, smoking is just masking the signs of gum disease.
Proper blood circulation is vital to healthy gums, given that the blood carries oxygen and other essential nutrients throughout the body, including the gums. But when you smoke, it causes the narrowing of some blood vessels, reducing the circulation of oxygen and essential nutrients to the gums and surrounding tissues. This makes the tissues more vulnerable to infections, including gum disease. We can help you if you are looking for a dentist in North Brunswick, NJ.
Some studies have found that smoking affects the production of vital antibodies crucial for fighting periodontitis-causing bacteria. A decreased ability to fight an infection means the infection can progress faster and cause tooth loss. In fact, a study conducted for over 16 years found that smokers are three times more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers.
Not only does smoking increase the risk of getting gum disease, but it also decreases the chances of the treatment becoming successful. Smoking interferes with the healing process and increases the chances of the infection coming back.
It is important to inform your dentist about how much you smoke and the duration you’ve been smoking. This vital information will help the dentist find the most suitable approach to treat your condition.
There are various ways you can prevent gum disease, but you will first need to quit smoking if you want the other tips to work. Here are more tips that can help you prevent periodontitis:
Talk to us if you are looking for a dentist near you in North Brunswick, and let us help you. We can help you with gum disease or any other dental problem you might have. Book an appointment today.