Did you know that under a microscope your mouth looks like a jungle? At least this is how microbiologists describe the microbial activity inside your oral cavity. You may be surprised to find that hundreds of species of bacteria not only live in your mouth, but choose specific environments over others. For example, the bacteria residing on the top of your tongue, is different from the bacteria that dwells underneath your tongue, and even on the sides. Our Encinitas periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania, will explain what this means for your oral health and how smoking can effect this veritable ecosystem.
Positive Bacteria Protects Your Mouth
Of these hundreds of species, most are bacteria biocompatible with health which protect your oral health. These positive bacteria form a blanket over the soft tissues of your mouth and your teeth. The thick carpet of positive bacteria blocks harmful pathogens from touching down and causing damage. According to microbiologists, Dr. Bruce Paster of the Forsyth Institute, these bacteria are fast-moving and spiral shaped. One of the most notorious bacteria which causes cavities is called S. mutans. Numerous bacteria contribute to gum disease.
How Smoking Contributes to Gum Disease
What does this have to do with quitting smoking? Recently, Dr. Kumar of Professor of Periodontology at Ohio State University, produced evidence to suggest that smoker’s mouths actually kill the positive bacteria, making a more hospitable environment for pathogens. A metaphor for this phenomena is like that of the weed. Smoking chokes out the good bacteria, making more room for pathogens that contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. Smoking increases your risk of periodontal disease, root canals, and oral cancer.
Smoking Cessation Support in Encinitas
With this in mind, patients who are considering smoking cessation have the full support of our Encinitas periodontal team. For more information about how we can help you stop smoking and improve your oral health, contact our Encinitas periodontal care office at (706) 642-0711. We serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.