It is likely that more than 10 million people a year will die from tobacco consumption by the end of the next two decades. A study from the Journal of Periodontology found that smoking may be responsible for half of the cases of periodontal disease in the United States. Periodontal diseases are very common. In fact, one report estimates that up to 90% of the world population could have some form of periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a group of inflammatory disease affecting the supporting tissues of teeth. There is a spectrum of disease within Periodontitis. Gingivitis, the mildest expression, is characterized by inflammation of the gums and bleeding. Though easily treatable, if left unchecked it can advance and develop into Periodontitis. Periodontitis is characterized by a loss of connective tissue and bone structure and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Bacteria proliferate after tobacco use. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the prevalence of gum disease is three times higher among smokers than among people who have never smoked. The disease-causing bacteria left unchecked will destroy tissue and supporting bone, causing not only decay, but potential tooth loss as well. Chewing tobacco is also harmful and can cause the gums to recede and loosen the fibers that hold your teeth in place.
Other consequences of tobacco use include: bad breath, risk for oral cancer, tooth loss, stained teeth, facial wrinkling, loss of taste and smell, mouth sores, and gum disease. Gum disease is also an infection that can link to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, poorly coordinated diabetes, respiratory disease and premature babies.
Every time we learn something new about the dangers of smoking, we can only hope it will be enough to prevent someone from picking up that first cigarette or encourage someone to quit. The good news is, periodontal healing begins to return to normal the second you quit smoking. After quitting, former smokers’ likelihood of having periodontal disease was similar to non-smokers.
Regardless of the status of your gum health, TM Prosthodontics can provide the advice and care you need. Dr. Tal Morr specializes in full mouth reconstruction and implant dentistry and is known for his advanced techniques, artistic abilities, and his perfectionism. Even a subtle change in your smile helps you to project an image of self-confidence and high personal esteem. When you feel good about yourself, it shows in your appearance.
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