As you might imagine, smoking is no better for your dental health than it is for your general health. In particular, smoking and the use of tobacco products can lead to gum disease.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), smoking affects the attachment of bone and soft tissue to the teeth by interfering with the function of cells in the gum tissue, making you more susceptible to periodontal disease. It can also inhibit blood flow to your gums, which can affect healing.
As a smoker, what does all this mean to you?
- You are at twice the risk for gum disease as a non-smoker.
- The longer you smoke, the greater your risk for developing gum disease.
- The more you smoke, the greater your risk for developing gum disease.
- Gum disease treatments may not be as effective for those who smoke.
These problems are not limited to smokers – using tobacco in any form, including cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco, all raise your risk for gum disease.
Some other unwanted side effects of tobacco use are:
- Increased risk of developing oral cancer
- Increased loss of bone within the jaw
- Longer healing times after periodontal treatment, extraction, or oral surgery
- Tooth discoloration
- Bad breath
- Lower success rate of dental implant procedures