Over the past decade or so, there has been a lot of research conducted into the leading causes of gum disease. Unsurprisingly, this research has highlighted the link between smoking and gum disease in adults. We now know that smoking is one of the leading causes of gum disease and as a smoker you have an elevated risk of developing the condition. There is no avoiding the fact that smoking is terrible for your overall health and this includes developing gum disease and eventual tooth loss.
Smoking has been banned in public places in many countries as it has become more and more anti-social. This is done to protect the health of patrons in public spaces such as restaurants from the harmful effects of breathing in the smoke.
Your mouth is the first contact with your body that cigarette smoke has – so you can just imagine the damage that it can cause. It is estimated in the United States that up to three quarters of the gum disease sufferers in the country are smokers.
Smoking causes gum disease in a couple of different ways. First of all it constricts the small blood vessels in the gums, which prevents as much oxygen getting through to them. Efficient delivery of oxygen is essential to maintain a healthy immune system. If the immune system is compromised, then it stops the body from fighting off infection easily.
Since gum disease is caused by a proliferation of bacteria on the gums, this is not good news for smokers. This means that smokers are not only at a higher risk of developing gum disease, the condition is likely to advance more rapidly and be more aggressive.
The oral problems that are associated with smoking are just the beginning. We are all aware of the connection between smoking and cancer. Some of the other conditions that are associated with the mouth and smoking are – bad breath, stained teeth, tooth loss, loss of teeth, receding gums, mouth sores and so on. Now that you know the link between smoking and gum disease, this is another reason that you should stub out those cigarettes and become an ex-smoker as soon as possible.