By now almost everyone knows that smoking has been linked with lung disease, cancer, emphysema, and heart disease. If that was not enough to get you to stop smoking, add this to the list. Smokers are three to six times more likely to have periodontal disease, two times more likely to lose teeth and have a seventy percent increased chance of needing root canal treatment.
Smokers are three to six times more likely to have periodontal disease, two times more likely to lose teeth and have a seventy percent increased chance of needing root canal treatment.
Smoking causes these oral health problems in two ways. It reduces the production of saliva, and it damages the body’s ability to fight off infection. Saliva is necessary for oral health because it helps wash bacteria from the teeth, so less saliva means more plaque. Saliva also contains disease-fighting antibodies that help fight destructive bacteria in the mouth.
Smoking damages your immune system by causing blood vessels to constrict throughout your entire body. This constriction reduces the flow of infection-fighting white blood cells, oxygen, and nutrients to the gums and nerves of the teeth. The increased amount of plaque on the teeth leads to swollen and infected gums which cause the eventual lose of teeth. The increased amount of plaque also causes more tooth decay. The bodies inability to fight off infections caused by the cavities can lead to an infection of the tooth nerve causing severe pain. Root canal treatment is then needed to stop the pain and remove the infection.
Besides contributing to the onset of periodontal disease, tooth decay and root canals, continuing to smoke after treatment makes it much harder for your gums to heal and continues to make you more susceptible to these oral health problems. So if you have not yet thought about quitting smoking, you should consider it now. By becoming a non-smoker you can avoid cancer, heart disease, tooth lose and painful cavities. Stop smoking and increase your chances of living a long and healthy life with a great looking smile.