How does smoking and tobacco use increase risk for periodontal disease?

Dental Restoration

Looking for another reason to drop a bad smoking or tobacco habit?

While cigarettes and tobacco have been linked to a host of bodily illnesses and diseases for decades, the sheer nuisance these products cause (due to chemicals such as nicotine and tar) for your teeth should not be understated.  

Camel, Marlboro, Newport, Winston… regardless of what your cigarette of choice is, there is one universal fact: Tobacco use of any kind indiscriminately wreaks havoc on your smile. While various forms of mouth cancer are the most major concern, periodontal disease is a significant consequence that shouldn’t be ignored. 

Smokers typically experience increased loss of bone & tissue between teeth

The primary negative effect of smoking is that it decreases blood flow in the gums, which inhibits their capability to heal. Ultimately, this makes gums more vulnerable to infection. Smokers also typically develop deeper pockets between teeth and gums and experience increased loss of bone and tissue between teeth. 

Smokers are more likely to have calculus form between teeth, which must be removed during professional cleanings. At South University Dental, our experts have observed first-hand how calculus can linger below the gum line, causing the bacteria contained within it to severely compromise gum tissue. When this occurs, the gums can literally pull away from teeth and bacteria-filled periodontal pockets develop. 

If left untreated, periodontal disease progresses as the pockets move deeper while tissue and bone are destroyed. Loss of gum tissue and bone shakes the foundation of your teeth, causing them to painful, loose, and/or fall out altogether. 

How does smokeless tobacco affect your gums?

Similar dangers apply to those who dip or chew smokeless tobacco as well. If you regularly enjoy reaching for a can of Copenhagen, Skoal, Grizzly, Kodiak or other tobacco products, you increasing your risk for periodontal disease. 

Smokeless tobacco users are more likely to struggle with receding gums and increased bone loss. Gum recession commonly creates tooth sensitivity and uncomfortable reaction to hot/cold food and liquids. As mentioned earlier, increased bone loss can lead to loosening and loss of teeth. 

There is another truth that accompanies any kind of tobacco use.

The chemicals contained in these products are known to slow the healing process after any periodontal procedure or oral surgery/treatment. 

As awareness of the most extreme dangers of tobacco use have become universally communicated thanks to targeted ads, Surgeon General warnings on packaging, and awareness campaigns, it is important to be reminded of how periodontal disease is a common, unsightly, unfortunate, and avoidable outcome for smokers and smokeless tobacco users. 

Trust the professionals at Restorative Dentists at South University Dental.

Are you struggling with smoking or tobacco use? Concerned about the long-term effects it can cause? The professionals at South University Dental are here to assist in examining and restoring your smile. Our experts have the tools to help you halt the progression of periodontal disease while pointing you in the right direction to make better choice for your teeth in the future. If you’re searching for premium quality dental care in the Red River Valley, email our office or call (701) 232-8884. One of our friendly team members will happily help you schedule a convenient appointment time.