smoking and tooth loss

Smoking and Tooth Loss

Smoking has many serious side effects that impair your dental health. Side effects of smoking begin with tooth staining, then progress to gum disease, tooth loss, and even mouth cancer. At Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry of Glendale, Arizona we always encourage our patients to quit smoking, and offer resources to help support them quit successfully. In today’s post, we will look more closely at the association between smoking and tooth loss. 

Smoking and Gum Disease

Yellow stains from nicotine and tar may spoil the appearance of your teeth, but the problems go much deeper than surface staining. Tobacco has a direct negative impact on the health of your gums. People who smoke have a much higher risk of tooth decay and periodontal infections. In fact, smokers are more than twice as likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers. 

Smokers produce more bacterial plaque, which leads to gum disease. Exposure to tobacco smoke promotes biofilm formation, which puts smokers at greater risk for oral infections and tooth loss. Smoking increases inflammation while reducing the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream—a dangerous combination. The gums of smokers are less likely to recover from infections or injuries, which leads to further complications.

Smoking and Tooth Loss

Smoking has long been established as a high risk factor for periodontal disease and tooth loss. Gums that are weakened by smoking lose their ability to adhere to the teeth and jawbones. Without protection from the gums, there is a much higher risk for cavities and alveolar bone loss—the leading cause of premature tooth loss.

Smoking also masks some symptoms of chronic periodontitis, such as bleeding gums. If the gum disease is not recognized and treated, the infection will likely become more severe. This complication further increases risk of tooth loss in smokers. 

We can help you quit!

The best way to prevent tooth loss is to quit smoking. Patients who quit smoking will greatly reduce their risk of losing teeth. If you are a smoker, contact Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry to schedule a comprehensive periodontal examination. We will assess the condition of your gum tissue and draw up a treatment plan. We have many resources to help you quit smoking and prevent tooth loss—call us today at 623-487-4870.

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