Periodontitis and the Link to Smoking


Studies have already proven that smoking is one of the risk factors for developing periodontal (gum) disease. In this article, we will focus on showing you how smoking and periodontal disease are linked.

Before this, we need to tell you what the periodontal (gum) disease actually is.

What Is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is a terrible bacterial disease. This bacteria initially start to grow around your teeth, within the dental plaque that surrounds it. It’s such a devastating disease because it pretty deteriorates all of the soft tissue and bones that help keep your teeth connected to your jaw bones. The body is known for activating defense mechanisms whenever viruses or bacteria is detected, and its response to periodontitis is such a heavy battle that it ends up in completely destroying the tissue and bones.

The early periodontitis symptoms which point out that you need to visit a high-quality dental center such as Vinterbro Tannlegesenter, include bleeding when you floss or brush. As the disease proceeds, your gums will break down. They will form pockets after pulling away from your teeth. These pockets will deepen as more supporting structures get destroyed. Your teeth will end up becoming painful and may eventually fall out.

The Link Between Smoking and Periodontitis

The link that exists between smoking and periodontitis is not yet very clear. One hypothesis that explains why smokers usually have increased periodontal changes is that the smokers’ periodontal pockets are usually more anaerobic when compared to those of non-smokers.

Smokers usually have more calculus than people who do not smoke. Calculus is simply plaque that has already hardened. The hardening could be due to decreased saliva flow. The anaerobic environment in the periodontal pockets coupled with the hardened calculus could conceivably promote the growth of periodontal pathogens. It is worth noting that there is still not enough proof that this hypothesis is correct.

Smoking Can Cause Gum Disease to Worsen Faster

Smoking already weakens so much in our body as it is, so it’s no surprise that it plays a huge role in aggravating any kind of gum disease. Research has found that smokers are 3 to 6 times more likely to have damaged gums as well as contributing to bone loss.

Despite the fact that smoking can accelerate gum diseases such as periodontitis, smokers usually have much less gum redness and bleeding than people who do not smoke. This gives the illusion that their gums are healthy while in the real sense they aren’t. This could delay treatment until the disease has already worsened to a point where treatment won’t be easy.

Smoking does not just increase the chances of developing periodontitis, it also makes the treatment of gum diseases tougher. Since smoking does hinder healing in the mouth, it may make the treatment less likely to succeed.

Smoking Could Increase Your Chances of Developing Periodontitis

Smoking is capable of increasing the chances of getting more health complications than just lung cancer. One of the health complications smoking can cause that people are not aware of is periodontitis. While researchers are yet to show the exact link that exists between periodontitis and smoking, studies have shown increased cases of the condition in people who smoke  in comparison to those who don’t. Smoking can make it hard to discover when you have periodontitis. This is because smokers are less likely to have bleeding gums and gum redness. Regular dental checkups can help you keep the health complication from progressing without your knowledge.

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