People who smoke are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease, leading to tooth loss or severe gum infection. They also have a higher risk of developing other oral problems that may become exacerbated because of the effects of nicotine. It’s hard to ignore the link between smoking and gum disease. Smoking is a bad habit in general, and most people have problems controlling the impulse to smoke a cigarette, especially for heavy smokers. Believe it or not, smoking is one of the primary reasons for developing rotten teeth. Please click on the link to learn more.
Oral Problems Related to Smoking
Many oral problems can be associated with smoking and bad oral habit, such as smoking and gum disease. Some of these conditions may lead to tooth loss or complicated infections. However, there is one gum disease that can cause the most damage. It is called Periodontal Disease.
Periodontal Disease Defined
Periodontal disease is a type of gum infection that affects your jaw’s tissues and bone structure that holds your teeth in place. Bacteria build-up is the primary cause of this disease because of poor dental hygiene. The typical symptoms are bleeding, swelling, difficulty in chewing, and tooth loss. Smoking, on the other hand, worsens the infection by a significant degree.
Summary of Periodontal Disease Symptoms
Here’s a summary of the symptoms that you may experience if you’re suffering from periodontal disease:
- Halitosis that doesn’t go away
- Redness and swelling of the gums
- Bleeding and tenderness of the gums
- Painful chewing of food
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums or gum recession
- Tooth loss
Although the symptoms vary from one case to another, these are the most common that is usually experienced by people who developed the periodontal disease.
Complications of Periodontal Disease
The worst-case scenario of the periodontal disease is a severe gum infection that causes the gums to recede and pull away. That possibility is the main reason for loose tooth and tooth loss. This periodontal disease stage is called periodontitis, where bone tissues surrounding your teeth that hold them intact gradually sheds away. This condition should be taken seriously. The worst thing that can happen is the spread of the infection that can damage a large portion of your teeth and gums. Your dentist’s recommendation may be the removal of several pieces of teeth. Not only does it reduce your confidence, but it will also make your eating and speech compromised.
Smoking And Gum Disease: How Smoking Affects the Periodontal Disease
Smoking compromises your immune system, which prevents the natural healing of your gums. It also reduces the effects of anti-biotics. It is best to quit smoking early or limit usage, especially when you’re under treatment for periodontitis. Here are the risks for your oral health when you are a smoker:
- You’re at a higher risk of developing oral problems compared with a non-smoker
- The cigarette you smoke in a day, the higher the risk of developing a gum disease
- The longer you’re in the habit of smoking, the harder you quit
- Treatment may have reduced efficiency
- You’re at a higher risk of developing other adverse health conditions like hypertension, cataracts, etc.
- Bad Breath or Halitosis
- Discoloured teeth
- Increased tartar and plaque accumulation
- Increased risk of jaw bone degeneration
- Leukoplakia development or white patches in the mouth
- Delayed natural healing and gum regeneration even with antibiotics
- Lower rate of success for dental implants and dental crowns
- Increased risk of acquiring or developing oral cancer
Periodontal Disease Treatment
The main focus of periodontal disease treatment is keeping proper oral hygiene. Although the methods involved may change or vary from one case to another, the goal is to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy as much as possible. Some cases are more severe compared with others, so, the actual process depends on your dentist. Here’s a summary of the typical treatment process:
- Thorough and deep cleaning below the gums
- Prescription medication like mouthwash or oral pills
- Surgery to remove the build-up of tartar and plaque below the gumline
- Surgery to repair the damaged gums or bone structure surrounding your teeth
- Lifestyle change like quitting smoking and drinking of alcoholic beverages
Tips to Prevent Periodontal Disease, Tooth Loss, and Other Oral Problems
There are many ways to keep your oral health on the tip-top condition at home. We prepared a few reminders and helpful tips to prevent the development of the periodontal disease, tooth loss, and other oral problems related to smoking and poor oral hygiene. Please check the list below:
- Proper Brushing Technique: Use pea-sized toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Brush gently and make sure to cover the surface of the teeth thoroughly
- Brush for two minutes at least twice a day or after each meal
- Use a dental tongue scraper to clean your tongue
- Rinse with mouthwash
- Floss gently between your teeth at least once a day or after each meal
- Avoid eating too many sweets
- Quit smoking (for your overall health)
- Avoid eating or drinking too many acidic foods or beverage
- Observe the condition of your teeth and gums regularly
- Visit your dentist twice a year or if you experience symptoms of periodontal disease
Aside from observing good oral hygiene and lifestyle changes, the best way to prevent oral diseases is by regularly visiting your dentist. They are the best individuals in the medical field that can diagnose your condition and provide preventive actions to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Another is your commitment to quitting smoking. It may be troublesome at first, but in the long run, the benefits are all worthwhile. So, switch to a better lifestyle by getting rid of your smoking habit.