Cigarettes not only give your teeth an unattractive yellowish hue, but they are also bad for your oral health. Smokers are more susceptible to cavities and periodontal disease and may require extra visits to the dentist that could have been avoided had they gone smoke-free. Find out how quitting can get your gum health back on track.
How Are Smoking & Gum Disease Linked?
People who smoke produce more plaque, a sticky bacteria-laden film that clings to teeth. If not properly removed by a dentist, bacterial plaque infects the gums. Since smoking also leads to a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, making for a weakened immune system, a smoker has a harder time fighting this infection.
As the ailment progresses, the body ends up attacking its own gum tissues in an attempt to eradicate the harmful bacteria. The tissues gradually wear away, creating “pockets” at the base of the teeth—a welcome home for bacteria to breed further. Left untreated, the degradation of tissue and underlying bone can lead to permanent tooth loss.
What Does Quitting Mean for Your Gums?
The good news is that even if you have been diagnosed with early-stage gum disease as a smoker, quitting now can still save your smile. Studies show that the risk of periodontitis among people who quit smoking is nearly identical to that of those who never smoked. Ongoing smokers, however, have an estimated 80% higher risk of periodontitis than quitters and non-smokers.
Don’t let cigarettes ruin your beautiful smile. Consult Chris L Hudson, DDS in Soldotna, AK, for advice on quitting. This dentist places a premium on preventative care and gives his patients the knowledge and tools they need to protect against problems. He and his team are always happy to answer questions and will provide the personalized attention you deserve. Whether you need a root canal or a simple teeth cleaning, expect thorough, focused care—you won’t feel rushed here. Visit their website to review their dental care services and call (907) 262-5454 for a dentist appointment.