Smokers at increased risk for periodontal disease

The health consequences of smoking have been highly publicized over the last few decades, particularly in the areas of lung health. But did you know that smoking is one of the most significant contributing factors to periodontal disease, as well? According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people who use tobacco are more likely than nonsmokers to get calculus – or plaque that hardens on the teeth that can only be removed professionally. If it is not removed, the calculus will remain below the gum line, potentially destroying the person’s gum tissue and causing the gums to begin separating from the teeth. In these cases, American Academy of Periodontology suggests that the newly formed deep pockets will fill with bacteria, leading to disease.

Left untreated, the pockets can continue to grow in size, eventually allowing bacteria to destroy both tissue and bone structure in the mouth. Eventually, teeth may fall out; research shows that more than 40 percent of daily smokers over the age of 65 are toothless. Similar consequences occur in people who use other tobacco products, as well. The good news is that these effects can be reversed when a person kicks his habit. For that reason, it is extremely important that you see your True Dental Discounts dentist if you smoke. The two of you, in cooperation with your medical doctor, can work on a plan to help you quit using tobacco, thereby preserving your oral and overall health.

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