The more we learn about health and how things affect our bodies, the clearer it becomes just how pervasive and dangerous tobacco use is. We've all heard about the cancer risks of smoking, but many patients are not aware of how tremendously bad it is for our oral health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 40 million American adults smoke tobacco, and the effects it has on your oral health are staggering.
Smoking and Gum Disease
Smoking tobacco affects your immune system and makes it harder to prevent or fight off gum disease. Once gum disease has taken root, smoking makes it harder for your body to heal.
What Happens If You Smoke?
- Smoking weakens your immune system, making it more difficult to fight off gum infections.
- Most adults who smoke have gingivitis.
- Smokers are twice at risk for gingivitis.
- The longer you smoke, the more at risk you are.
- Treatments for gingivitis are less effective for smokers.
- Any kind of tobacco use, including pipes or chewing, will increase your risk for gingivitis.
Impact on Your Oral Health
- Smokers are nearly twice as likely to lose their teeth as nonsmokers
- Chronic alcohol consumption, along with tobacco use, causes at least 75 percent of head and neck cancers.
As a smoker, you have probably heard of how smoking can affect your heart and your lungs. As your San Jose, CA dental team, it isn't our job to scare you or lecture you about smoking and tobacco. However, we do want to inform you of dangers you may be unaware about regarding your oral health. No matter how well you brush and floss your teeth, smoking can create irreversible damage.
If you smoke and think you might have gum disease or are worried about the toll smoking is taking on your oral health, please call Dr. Victor Woodlief at Advanced Dentistry by Design in San Jose, CA. Dr. Woodlief and his dental team welcome you to be proactive in protecting your oral health and counteracting the damage caused by smoking. Dr. Woodlief will examine your teeth to see if there are any oral health issues. Together, we will work to make your smile as healthy as possible.