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Understanding the Effects of Smoking When You Have Gum Disease

Posted on 11/15/2019 by Dr. Karl Zeren
Understanding the Effects of Smoking When You Have Gum DiseaseSmoking is never good for your oral health. Without gum disease, smoking has been proven to affect the way your gum attaches to your teeth.

When the gum receded from the teeth, a person is more likely to experience gum disease and in turn experience continual oral complications.

Smoking while afflicted with gum disease, is even more detrimental than smoking without gum disease—not only to your overall health, but your oral health as well. When someone has gum disease, their body is attempting to heal from an infection in the gums and smoking can dampen the body's natural process or even make it impossible.

The reason smoking dampens the healing process is that it impairs blood flow to the gum. Blood carries white blood cells, which help with infections like gum disease, and without proper blood flow to the gums, white blood cells cannot reach the point of infection.

What Can Happen?

Depending on the stage of gum disease a person is experiencing, will determine what can happen next if they continue to smoke while suffering from gum disease. In the early stages of gum disease, smoking will cause a person to see a more rapid development of severe gum disease, called periodontitis, than non-smokers. Periodontitis is characterized by the receding of the gum line and a more severe infection in the gums. This is because the gums open up to the bacteria in the mouth, causing them to be more susceptible to infection.

Continued smoking after acquiring periodontitis will inevitably lead to the loss of teeth. The loss of teeth will occur once the colonies of bacteria known as plaque start eating away at the teeth causing them to deteriorate and decay. If this is the case, then the teeth will need to be removed to avoid further complications.

We never recommend smoking. It is not only detrimental to your body's overall health, but also your oral health. We can always give you more advice on the effects of smoking and oral health if you would like to give us a call.
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