Tobacco use is an essential factor in the development of gum disease. Orally ingested tobacco can affect your mouths saliva production, the body's immune response needed to fight possible infections, and restrict the blood flow to your gums. Your mouth needs a healthy environment to ward off disease and infection.
Tobacco, Saliva, and Your Blood Vessels
Healthy saliva production is vital to your mouth's defense against bacteria. Saliva contains proteins and minerals that combat bacteria and fortify your teeth. Tobacco taken orally through smoking, chewing, or vaping destroys the essential macromolecules present in saliva that protects your gums. Plus, orally ingested tobacco restricts the blood vessels in your gums, further diminishing your mouth's defenses against bacteria-laden plaque. With your immune defenses down, your mouth is more prone to plaque, bacteria, and tartar, leading to periodontal disease.
Avoid Tobacco to Maintain a Healthy Mouth
Tobacco creates a thin, sticky film that coats your entire mouth and increases the plaques staying power, which invites bacteria. According to the CDC, smokers are twice as likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers, and treatments for gum disease with smokers may not work as well as they do with non-smokers. The more you smoke, and the longer you smoke, the more impact smoking has on your oral health. As you continue to smoke and your oral health degenerates, you open yourself to chronic bad breath and oral cancer.
If you are a smoker, be sure to maintain good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day. You should also schedule regular cleaning and check-ups with us. Our skilled, professional staff can remove the plaque that contains bacteria and inspect your mouth for early signs of distress or disease. If you have concerns about smoking and your oral health and are between regular check-ups, we will be happy to schedule and examine with you.