Is There a Link Between Smoking and Gum Disease?

Smokers have the highest risk of gum disease of all people. As a matter of fact, they are more than five times likely to get gum disease over non smokers. According to the Center for Disease Control, 41% of all smokers over the age of 65 have missing teeth while only 20% of all non smokers over the age of 65  have any missing teeth.

Here are some the reasons:

  1. Smoking causes constriction of blood vessels  which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrient to the gums.
  2. Smoking can reduce the ability of the body to fight  bacterial infections causing the bacteria to increase in  numbers.
  3. Smoking causes the fiber that helps your gums  to stay tight to break. This leads to your gums opening  and letting the bacteria in.
  4. Smoking causes your mouth to become dry.  Dry gums best  suit the bacterica that cause gum disease.
  5. The increase in bacteria cause an increase in the  body’s immune response.  During this immune response,  the body’s inadvertently attacks its own gums and bones.
  6. Smoking lowers the bod’s ability to heal.

Unfortunately, the effects of smoking do not stop for many years after you stop smoking. Therefore, just because a smoker stops smoking does NOT mean their teeth  and gums are safe from the effects of smoking.  Anyone who smokes or has smoked in the  past, needs to be extra aware and cautious of their oral hygiene.

Scripps Ranch Dental office serving the Scripps Ranch and Mira Mesa areas.