Cigarette use almost always gets attention for being a risk factor for causing lung disease. The fact that it may have any other side effects often get pushed to the side since there may be more serious things like cancer or even death. What a lot of people need to know though, is that even light smoking can do some serious damage to your smile.
We aren’t talking about just making your smile stained or dark (which it can.) We’re talking about the long-term effects on your smile. There is some serious damage that can be done.
Smoking will increase your risk of developing gum disease, or make it impossible to fight gum disease that already exists. The tricky part is that smoking hides your symptoms of the condition: like bleeding or swollen gums. The smoke from the cigarettes causes blood supplies in the area to atrophy, making the gum tissues appear as if nothing is wrong, because there is no sign of infection. This acts as a mask that allows infections deep under your gums to continue developing, causing detached gum tissues and bone loss around the teeth. Before you know it, the teeth become mobile and may even fall out. Gum recession may or may not be present. If you undergo gum treatments such as periodontal therapy, your mouth may not respond the way a healthy individual’s would…and the disease will not reverse.
If you’re a smoker, it’s important to have regular cleanings and periodontal screenings to assess any areas that may be developing into a periodontal condition so that treatment and a smoking cessation plan can begin right away.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Dan Myers, Cosmetic Dentistry Center
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