Why Not Smoking Can Improve Your Chances of Preventing Gum Disease

trying to quit smokingHopefully, you don’t need any more reasons to not smoke, or to quit smoking if you already practice the habit. The risks to your health associated with tobacco use are well-known, and include an increased risk for most types of cancer, a weakened immune system that leaves you more susceptible to infection, and an inhibited ability to heal. Your San Diego periodontist, Dr. Kania, explains how the various effects of smoking also combine to significantly increase your risk of developing destructive gum disease.

The Forest in Your Mouth

Your mouth is an ecological forest that contains over 600 different kinds of bacteria. Some of these microbes are responsible for processes that, when left unchecked, can lead to gum recession and inflammation that damages your periodontal tissues and facilitate the development of gum disease. The majority of these bacteria, however, facilitate your mouth’s wellbeing by acting as a shield against harmful pathogens. Smoking can kill these helpful microorganisms, as well as inhibit your saliva flow and lead to dry mouth, creating a hospitable environment for malicious bacteria to multiply and thrive.

Smoking’s Effect on Periodontal Healing

By the time full-blown periodontal disease develops, your gums may have already receded considerably from your teeth in some areas. As an experienced periodontist in San Diego, Dr. Kania can expertly treat periodontal disease by thoroughly removing the infection from underneath your gums, including any lingering bacteria, and if needed perform a gum graft  to restore any gum tissue that may have been destroyed. In many cases, treatment may not even require surgery. However, any successful treatment relies on the healing and reattachment of your periodontal tissue to your teeth. For patients who smoke, this healing process is greatly inhibited, and periodontal treatment may not prove as successful for smokers as it can for nonsmokers.

Find Help to Quit Smoking with Your San Diego Periodontist

If you’d like help with smoking cessation, or need the expertise of a dedicated periodontist to treat your gum disease, then contact Dr. Kania at our San Diego periodontist’s office by calling (706) 642-0711. Located in the 92024 area, we proudly serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.