It’s safe to assume that everyone is aware of the damaging effects of smoking on one’s health. From cancer to cardiovascular and pulmonary concerns to respiratory problems and more, the health risks are severe. While 40 million adults continue to smoke, there’s another serious consequence that dental professionals urge individuals to consider the toll that smoking takes on dental health.
It’s believed that the easy accessibility of cigarettes and their high addiction rate contribute to the growing number of smokers, especially in those under 18. Aside from bad breath and stained teeth, smoking (including pipe and cigar smoking) allows plaque and tartar to sit on teeth and gums. This results in bacteria wreaking havoc along the gum line. In some instances, individuals notice that their gums begin to pull away or “recede” from teeth. This is often the result of early stage gum disease (Gingivitis) that has progressed. It is also common for gums to appear red and puffy as they pull away from teeth.
Gum disease is accelerated as individuals continue to smoke. This is because smoking constricts blood flow to the mouth, making it difficult for the body to fight infection. Long-term results are tooth loss and even bone loss (in the jaw).
Can My Dental Health Improve?
While the toll that smoking takes on dental health is severe, it’s important to understand that dental health can improve. Giving up smoking, along with a commitment to good oral care will significantly improve the condition of your teeth and gums. Yet, it’s wise to visit your dentist to help you along the way. Dentists have the tools and resources to help you turn your dental health around. In turn, as your mouth is restored to a healthier condition, you will feel better overall.
At Pleasant Plains Dental, Dr. Ernst understands the importance of patient education when it comes to dental health. If you are a smoker, it’s important to realize that gum disease is sometimes painless, and you may be unaware of the toll it’s taking on your teeth and gums. That’s why we offer quality and personable care that can detect tooth decay, help restore damage and protect your bone health. With a variety of general dentistry treatments, we invite you to call Pleasant Plains Dental today. You’ll be glad that you did.