Smoking and Gum Disease

Smoking and Gum Disease

In this article we will look at the link between smoking and gum disease, the signs of gum disease and what you can do to decrease your risk.

Smoking and Gum Disease

We are all aware of the endless benefits of quitting smoking, from saving money to improving your breathing and general fitness and even increasing your sense of taste, making food more enjoyable!

However, did you know that the more you smoke and the longer you are a smoker, the higher the risk of developing gum disease? What some people do not know is that gum disease can still affect you after you quit smoking.

Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is caused by a build-up of bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria is normally concentrated in and around the teeth. Gum disease causes the gums to become irritated, causing swelling and bleeding when brushing or flossing.

Smokers are more vulnerable to contracting gum disease as smoking decreases the body’s abilities to fight off infection and protect the gums from further damage. A study posted to the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine evaluated the dental health of 200 cigarette smokers and 200 non-smokers. It found that "there was a statistically significant difference in the findings between cigarette smokers and non-smokers." [1]

Bleeding gums are the first sign on gum disease, however, smokers may not experience this early warning sign as nicotine restricts the blood flow to the gums. This means that smokers can experience more severe cases of gum disease and could even suffer tooth loss.

To improve the health of your gums and decrease the chances of developing gum disease you should maintain a good oral health routine. You can achieve this by, brushing your teeth twice a day with products like Corsodyl Toothpaste which is uniquely designed to remove the build-up of bacteria along the gumline.

It is also important to attend regular check-ups with your dentist, ensuring your teeth and gums remain healthy so you can continue to enjoy the benefits of stopping smoking.

[1] Effect of cigarette smoking on the periodontal health status: A comparative, cross sectional study.