Are smokers at a greater risk of tooth loss? 

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If you are a smoker, it is likely that you have been told constantly about the damaging effects that is associated with cigarettes. With commercials, media and even on the packaging of the cigarette boxes you purchase, there is nowhere to escape the warning signs everywhere. Although many people may mention all the side effects of smoking for example, like “it causes cancer,” however, not many know about the other effects it may have on your health.

According to a research study published in the Journal of Dental Research, those who smoke have a higher risk of tooth loss than those who do not smoke. Researchers from the University of Birmingham as well as the German Institute of Human Nutrition found that men who smoke are 3.6 times more likely to suffer tooth loss than male non-smokers, while women smokers are 2.6 times more likely than non-smokers.

What causes the tooth loss?

Typically, the tooth loss is because of smoking-induced gum disease (periodontitis) or tooth decay (caries). There are symptoms to look for when it comes to periodontitis and caries, and they typically consist of the following:

  • Discolored gums, usually appearing pale and white or bright red
  • Red or very raw gums that are tender and swollen
  • Bleeding gums that are very sensitive
  • A receding of the gum line and the tooth
  • Teeth becoming loose or separating
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Very bad breath that is persistent
  • Tooth sensitivity and tenderness when eating or drinking hot or cold beverages
  • Toothaches or random sharp tooth pains
  • An unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Discolored teeth (typically appearing dark or off-grey coloring or splotches of said colors)

One of the problems with gum disease from smoking, is that smoking may mask various symptoms of the disease. Smoking can mask, bleeding gums or a smoker may believe that the bad breath or bad taste in their mouth is a result of smoking, but when in fact it is a symptom of periodontitis or tooth decay.

What should you do next? 

Don’t put off coming to see a trusted Irving dentist here at Cosmetic and Family Dentistry. Contact us or come by today to schedule an appointment and get started on a healthier, happier you.

Although you may fall victim to the belief or justification that you don’t smoke often enough or haven’t smoked long enough to endure these risks, you could be wrong, as gum disease and tooth loss are often one of the first physically noticeable health consequences of being a smoker. Contact us at Cosmetic and Family Dentistry where we will be happy to check the health of your teeth and gums and help keep your oral health in order.