Smoking weakens your body’s infection fighters (your immune system). This makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Once you have gum damage, smoking also makes it harder for your gums to heal. The more cigarettes you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease and have twice the risk for gum disease compared with a nonsmoker
Gum(periodontal) disease is an infection of the gums and can affect the bone structure that supports your teeth. In severe cases, it can make your teeth fall out. Smoking is an important cause of severe gum disease.
Gum disease starts with bacteria (germs) on your teeth that get under your gums. If the germs stay on your teeth for too long, layers of plaque (film) and tartar (hardened plaque) develop. This buildup leads to early gum disease, called gingivitis.
When gum disease gets worse, your gums can pull away from your teeth and form spaces that get infected. This is severe gum disease, also called periodontitis. The bone and tissue that hold your teeth in place can break down, and your teeth may loosen and need to be pulled out.Warning Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth / Loose dental implants
- Sensitive teeth
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
You can help avoid gum disease with good dental habits.
- Brush your teeth after each meal.
- Floss often to remove plaque.
- See a dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.
- Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit.
Regular cleanings at dental office and daily brushing and flossing can help treat early gum disease (gingivitis).
More severe gum disease may require:
- Deep cleaning below the gum line.
- Prescription mouth rinse or medicine.
- Surgery to remove tartar deep under the gums.
If you smoke, quitting will help your gums heal after treatment.
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