Second Hand Smoke and Gum Disease

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015, 5:03 pm

The link between smoking and gum disease has been known for many years, but new research appears to show that even second hand smoke can greatly increase the risk for periodontitis.

Almost half of US adults have some form of gum disease. Untreated gum disease has been linked to health issues throughout the body including heart disease, poor blood sugar control, premature birth and even some types of cancers.

The risk factors for gum disease include smoking, diabetes, using certain medications, hormonal changes in women and having a genetic predisposition to the disease. Most cases of gum disease can be prevented by proper oral hygiene (brushing and flossing), and regular dental hygiene visits. Our patients with diabetes and those who smoke are warned of their higher risk and advised on preventative measures – now it appears that we will need to add the family members of smokers to this group.

Using tobacco in any form, either smoked or orally, has serious effects upon oral health. Oral problems linked to tobacco use include:

  • Bad breath
  • Yellow teeth
  • Increase risk of Gum Disease
  • Risk of developing white patches or leukoplakia in the mouth
  • Delayed healing following dental surgery
  • Increased risk of oral cancer
  • Increased risk of dental implant failure
  • Increased loss of bone in the jaw

Quitting is hard. Talk to your doctor about your support options when you make the decision to quit using tobacco products. Sweeter smelling breath and a healthy white smile (along with reduced risks of heart disease and cancer) are at the end of the journey.

Find out more about keeping your smile healthy by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777 to schedule your next visit.

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Category: Dental Health, periodontal disease

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