According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, smokers have over double the risk of gum disease and are four times more likely to have it advance to advanced periodontal disease. This is why it’s so important, to be honest about your smoking during a dental exam at Think Oral Implants and Periodontics, our periodontist with Dr. Ting. He will ask you about how much you smoke and how long you smoke during your health history. While smoking is a major contributing factor to gum disease, it isn’t the only factor in whether or not someone will develop gum disease.
How smoking may mask gum disease symptoms
Common gum disease symptoms include red, tender, or swollen gums that may bleed from brushing or flossing. In smokers, however, even diseased gum tissue looks firmer and bleed less when compared with nonsmokers who have gum disease. This means you will think your gums are healthy and they aren’t. Ultimately, good circulation is essential to healthy gums because blood carries oxygen and nutrients through the body. Nicotine causes a narrowing of the blood vessels and inhibits the growth of new blood vessels. This means there is a reduced amount of oxygen and nutrients getting to the tissues surrounding the teeth which makes them more vulnerable to infection. It also slows healing when they are damaged.
The effects of smoking on gum disease treatment
Dr. Ting has found that gum disease treatment is less successful with his patients who smoke. As a periodontist, he offers many different effective treatment options that can help restore your gum health. Smoking as a whole also affects healing, which means you need to visit us more often than nonsmokers to check your progress. It also can make it harder for us to remove tartar.
Learn more about periodontal disease treatment for smokers
When you’re suffering from gum disease, it’s important to treat it quickly. Periodontal problems are a way that smoking can harm your health. However, our periodontist, Dr. Ting at Think Oral Implants and Periodontics can help his patients who smoke to treat their gum disease before it advances to bone or tooth loss. For more information on periodontal disease treatment and to schedule an appointment, call 610-550-3333. We serve patients in Paoli, Malvern, Berwyn, and the surrounding Pennsylvania communities with advanced periodontal procedures and dental implant treatments.