Smoking has a big impact on your oral health. In fact, smoking a cigarette kills one in five persons in United States (CDC). Smoking and other different tobacco products can lead to gum disease. But how is that possible?
The mouth is a place full of moist and bacteria. These are balanced through saliva and acidity level. Imagine that the substances from cigarette smoking passes through your teeth and gums. Now your mouth is the World Nicotine Bank. All the poisonous substances affect your teeth and your gums resulting in a destroyed nicotine-stained appearance of your teeth and an awful foul breath. But these are just a few of the aspects of what smoking can do to your oral health.
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a disorder that affects the gums. The gums, in a healthy mouth, are tight around the base of the teeth and protecting the roots. Unfortunately, smoking irritates the gum tissue, and it reduces the blood flow to the gums. This will cause a damage that will result in the pulling away of the gums from the teeth, leaving the root wide open. More than 75 percent of the people who are smoking are suffering from different stages of periodontal disease. A smoker has a seven times higher chance of developing periodontal disease than a nonsmoker. Furthermore, even as a nonsmoker, if you are over-exposed to smoke you may be at risk of developing smoke related periodontal disease.
The first noticeable indicator of the periodontal disease is the presence of receiving gums. The recession of the gums exposes the roots of the teeth, making them vulnerable to tooth decay. This can be accelerated by the loosening of the gums and will form a pocket below and between the teeth. In those tiny newly created spaces food particles will gather and will affect the gums and teeth even more. The teeth will be affected from the bacteria that will develop more because of the remained particles in the mouth even if you brushed correctly. You can avoid this from happening by making periodic visits to the dentist and try making little changes in your habits.
Another sign that indicates the presence of the gums deteriorating is the bad breath. As the gums start to deteriorate, a growth in bacteria levels is noticed resulting in bad breath, mouth sores, cavities, infections and plaque growth. You can see the plaque forming as a whitish, greasy film that develops on your teeth when you do not brush. If it remains in the mouth for too long, it can develop in a biofilm, which is a destructive coating of bacteria that is resistant to brushing. Later on, the plaque hardens and becomes tartar, a hard and cementlike layer around the gums and between your teeth. Smoking can also cause bone loss in the jaw, delayed healing and inflammation of the salivary glands. Smoking favors the appearance of oral cancers. (ADA)
You should periodically have a medical consult by a professional licensed dentist. He can determine what problem you are at risk of facing and give you the correct advice. He can also recommend some dentistry products that can help you prevent some of the damage smoking can do.