Tooth Loss and Smoking: How Bad Habits Hurt Your Smile
By Stephen Rogers on May 08, 2016
Here at Greater Long Island Dental, we believe that good general dentistry is rooted in patient education and preventative care. This is why we always emphasize different things patients can do to enhance their overall general health and dental wellness.
One great tip to consider is quitting smoking. Not only will this help you avoid lung disease, heart disease, and cancer, but it can also help you have a full and healthy set of teeth as well.
Smokers More Likely to Lose Teeth Than Non-Smokers
While you may not think about it much, it's true: smokers are at least twice as likely to lose teeth than non-smokers. Men and women who smoke at least a pack a day are at a special risk. Over the course of 10 years, these men and women are likely to lose 2 or 3 teeth as a result of cigarettes and their effects on dental health and total wellness.
While the staining and discoloration of the teeth is bad, the primary cause of concern is gum disease, which can lead to the loss of teeth if you aren't careful.
Gum Disease More Likely if You Smoke
Gum disease refers to the bacterial infection of the gum tissue. There are three different stages of gum disease. They are as follows:
- Advanced periodontitis
As gum disease gets worse, you are more likely to experience gum recession (i.e., the loss of gum tissue around the teeth), loose teeth, gradual tooth misalignment, and tooth loss.
Smokers are more likely to suffer from infections, so it should come as no surprise that they are more likely to suffer from gum disease.
Treatments Options for Gum Disease
The best treatments for gum disease involve the use of antiseptic rinses and medicated rinses to help get the oral bacteria under control. Antibiotics can also be used to help address issues with oral bacteria.
As the bacterial infection is being brought under control, dentists can focus on addressing the damage done to the gum tissue and the teeth. This often mean gum grafting to address recession and the use of restorations to treat tooth decay and tooth damage.
Treatments Options for Missing Teeth
When you are missing teeth, the ideal treatment option can vary. In some cases, the best option will be to use bridges and dentures. These removable appliances will allow you to smile, bite, and chew with renewed confidence.
Some patients may be good candidates for dental implants, which are artificial tooth roots that can anchor appliances in place. We can discuss these matters with you in greater detail during your visit.
Quit for Good: Your Doctor Can Help
The best thing you can do for your overall dental health and general wellness is quit smoking. If going cold turkey is too difficult, your doctor can help provide information and resources that will make quitting much easier.
Contact Greater Long Island Dental
To learn more about smoking, tooth loss, and how we can improve your overall dental health and wellness, be sure to contact our advanced cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Greater Long Island Dental will work with you to help you have the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible.
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