19 Aug Smoking and Gum Disease
Is Smoking Related to Gum Disease?
It can’t be disputed that smoking is really bad for you. It can impact almost every system in your body in a negative way, including your gums. Those who smoke are at a higher risk of developing several diseases, including gum disease. Smoking and gum disease are directly linked. If you are a smoker, you will find that it is quite likely to be much more severe than what non-smokers typically experience. We also find, at our Georgetown dental clinic, that it can be more difficult to treat smokers than non-smokers. The longer that you have been a smoker, the higher you will find that your risk for gum disease is.
How Smoking Increases Gum Disease Risk
Gingivitis is the result of built-up plaque between, around, and on the surfaces of your teeth. The plaque can lead to inflammation on the gums. If your gums are swollen, red, and bleed when you brush and floss, you likely have gum disease.
If ignored, it can become much more severe, and can potentially result in the loss of one or more teeth. So, just how does smoking impact gingivitis? Smoking narrows the blood vessels in the body and takes a toll on the body’s ability to fight infections. This can make it harder for your body to fight off the gum infection that has taken hold. A healthy non-smoker may not see their gum disease advance as rapidly as a smoker will.
Smoking may also mask those early warning signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums. This is due to the blood flow restriction that can accompany the use of nicotine. Some smokers may not experience bleeding gums until the disease is quite advanced.
Another missed sign of gum disease could be the color of the gums. Dr. Boals, an emergency dentist in Colorado Springs, CO, explains that healthy gums will be a nice pink color. Red and swollen gums can be a sign that gingivitis is present. Heavy smokers can have gums that are grey and otherwise discolored.
Why Gingivitis is Worse for the Smoker
The major concern facing smokers when it comes to gum disease is that those very early warning signs can be missed. Patients may not reach out to our dentists in Georgetown, KY, to dress the gum disease until it has advanced significantly. This is an issue as gum disease can prove much more difficult to treat in smokers.
The infection can be hard for the body to combat. Also, treatments mighty not be as effective for smokers as they would be for non-smokers. As a result, smokers tend to develop much more severe gum disease. They are also much more likely to suffer from the loss of one or more teeth. While we do offer options for tooth replacement, Georgetown KY patients can appreciate if they do lose teeth, it can still prove harder for the gums to heal after surgical procedures to set implants.
Preventing Gum Disease
The first step will be to quit smoking. Your doctor will be able to refer to cessation programs that can make the process easier for you. Even those who have severe gum disease will find that stopping smoking can make a positive difference.
An oral health routine that includes brushing twice a day and flossing once a day can help to improve the health of your gums. Using a quality mouth rinse can also help to reduce the bacteria around the gum line.
Smokers must stick to their regular checkup regimen, as a professional examination can help to recognize early gum disease. The dentist can also offer advice on what will help to prevent the worsening of gum disease. We are a dentist open 6 days a week, so it’s easy for you to schedule your checkups as and when you need them.
Are you ready to schedule your annual cleaning? Do you need an emergency dentist in Georgetown, KY? Call to schedule your appointment today.