Gum Disease Caused By Tobacco Use
November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and a great reason to quit smoking is the risk of gum disease. Smokers have a much higher chance in developing gingivitis and periodontitis. The effects of tobacco on oral health are harsh because smokers produce less saliva resulting in more tartar buildup. This buildup accelerates the pace at which gum destruction occurs and bone deteriorates in more extreme cases. Even the use of smokeless tobacco products decreases your body’s ability to heal and increases your susceptibility to contract gum disease.
An astounding 75 percent of the adult population suffers from some form of periodontal (gum) disease. In fact, many of those who suffer from gum disease are unaware that they even have it. Gum disease, a bacterial infection, develops due to copious amounts of bacteria in the mouth, which then force their way into the gums as plaque. This development occurs from any but not limited to the following reasons:
- Poor dental care
- Familial dental issues
- Smoking and Smokeless Tobacco Use
- Certain medications
- Hormone changes (pregnancy, menopause, etc)
Stages of Gum Disease
Similar to many other diseases, gum disease is unfortunately a progressive condition. Because the gums play a significant role in the mouth and body connection, gum disease increases one’s risk of other systemic diseases – namely diabetes, heart problems, and lung disease.
An earlier stage of gum disease, gingivitis occurs when plaque irritates the gums and causes redness, swelling, and can lead to bleeding. Symptoms are easily missed. At this point, the teeth are still firmly in place.
Severe gum disease, known as periodontitis, often results in receding gums, aching gums when chewing or gum sores, foul breath, and bleeding gums. The bone and gum pull apart, leaving room for debris and loosening the teeth.
Learn more about treatment options for bleeding gums.
Essentially, gum treatment is necessary to manage infection. Dental cleanings and oral medications are recommended in cases of gingivitis. Without treatment, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. The bone will irreversibly deteriorate, and teeth will fall out if treatment is not sought. In regards to the effects of tobacco on oral health, smokers are less responsive to both non-invasive and surgical treatments.
More invasive procedures include:
Tooth Scaling and Root Planing
– two step process also known as a deep cleaning; removes concentrated tartar above and below the gum line; scrubs area where buildup was prevalent
– surgical procedure to remove deeply settled tartar; allows for gums to then sit closely to the teeth
– allows bone and gum to re-grow where the tissues were severely damaged or destroyed
Tackling periodontal disease allows your mouth to heal and reduces your body’s risk of many infections and illness. Gum disease is grave, yet gum treatment is extremely effective through restorative dentistry. With modern technology, we at Dental Bliss are able to accurately diagnose gum disease via specified tests. Please schedule your reservation for dental excellence and a sensational smile today. Join us in sharing that November is National Lung Cancer Awareness month. Promote good oral hygiene, overall physical health, and smoking cessation.