Sorry smokers, this had to come up in one of my articles. It wouldn’t be an epiphany for smokers that smoking is ‘bad for your teeth’. But what goes on?
Two gum conditions are commonly recognised by dentists; Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Gingivitis simply translates into inflammation of the gums (the soft tissue around your teeth). Signs of this are gums that are bleeding and swollen. Whereas Gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene, and some tailored oral hygiene instruction from your dentist, Periodontitis is of greater concern. Periodontitis is inflammation in the structures holding your teeth in. These include the ligaments around your teeth and the bone to which they are connected. The predisposition to this is first and foremost hereditary. Sadly it is also very common – one in five to one in 10 people show varying degrees of periodontitis bone loss around there teeth. Of course if enough bone goes, the result is loose teeth and eventually lost teeth.
So where does the smoking enter the picture?
For folks with a hereditary disposition to periodontitis, smoking is a big aggravating factor, accelerating the bone loss from something that may have been controllable over many decades, to something that occurs rapidly over years. Aside from tooth loss, the cosmetics of the dentition depends on the presence of healthy gums. Gums with bone loss tend to look receded and the teeth roots exposed. This is all not to mention the stains that smoking leave on your teeth.
A professional clean at the Dentist is an excellent reward for quitting! Dental on Metro assess and advise regarding gum conditions amongst our raft of services. We also refer to Quitting services like Quitline 137848 (13QUIT). Your first check-up is gap free with and dental extras cover.