There was a time when the dangers of cigarette smoke were debatable, and the act of smoking was nowhere near controversial. Today, however, modern science and medicine have done away with the veil by providing irrefutable evidence of tobacco smoke’s detrimental effects on your physical health. Similarly, tobacco smoke can also devastate your oral health, causing or exacerbating destructive dental disease like gum disease and, in extreme cases, oral cancer. To help raise awareness of the dangers that smoking can pose to your teeth and gums, Encinitas periodontist Dr. Ann Kania explores how tobacco smoke interacts with the tissues in your mouth.
Cigarettes and Oral Health
Studies have shown that people who smoke cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or any other form of tobacco are more likely to develop periodontal disease. There are various theories concerning the exact mechanisms that account for the increased risk, many of which involve smoking’s tendency to cause your blood vessels to constrict, inhibiting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your periodontal tissue (gums) and stunting its ability to heal. Consequently, many harmful oral bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they thrive in the lack of oxygen and can attack your gum tissue more effectively.
Maintain a Healthy Smile in Encinitas
Smoking and chewing tobacco can also interfere with your immune system’s ability to fight infection. When bacteria afflict your gums with disease, smoking can dampen your natural defenses and allow periodontal disease a better chance to grab hold of your gums. For help with smoking cessation, or to learn more about protecting and improving your periodontal health, contact Dr. Kania at our Encinitas periodontal care office by calling (706) 642-0711. We serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.