Engaging in good oral hygiene practices is a major part of maintaining good oral health. However, it is also important to be mindful of what you are putting into your body, as anything that you consume can potentially affect your mouth. This includes items like tobacco.
Smoking cigarettes can lead to the development of periodontal disease (more commonly known as gum disease). As it becomes more severe, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss.
Why does smoking often lead to gum disease? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the immune system is weakened when one smokes, making it more challenging for the body to defend itself from gum infection.
The CDC also offers the following statistics:
- A smoker is twice as likely to develop gum disease than someone who does not smoke
- One’s risk for gum disease increases the more that they smoke
The best way to guard yourself against gum disease is to brush twice and floss once per day, see your dentist every six months, and refrain from unhealthy habits, including smoking.
If you are a smoker, please consider quitting. Smokefree.gov offers resources that can help you reach your goal.
If you have any questions about gum disease, smoking and your oral health, or any other dental concerns, feel free to contact our office.
Take care of your smile!