- April 26, 2016
Periodontists agree that it would be great if every day were “No Tobacco Day.” Until that day comes, we celebrate health observances that bring attention to the dangers of using tobacco products.
You’ll get your opportunity to celebrate one of these observances with us on May 31, which is World No Tobacco Day.
We offer smoking cessation services in our office because tobacco use is harmful to your periodontal health. Poor periodontal health can lead to more serious systemic ailments, including heart attack, stroke and complications related to diabetes.
Following are some important facts related to gum disease and tobacco use:
- Smokers are more likely to show “masking” of gum disease until it is too late, because smoking compromises blood supply to the area and prevents the body from fighting periodontal infection. The usual disease signs such as gum bleeding and inflammation may also be diminished in heavy smokers. The absence of warning signs does not mean the disease isn’t progressive. In fact, smokers will undergo accelerated bone loss and deterioration in periodontal health without even knowing.
- Multiple reputable studies have shown that smokers have deeper periodontal pockets, more bone loss, and more severe gum disease than those who don’t use tobacco products.
- Smokers are at higher risk of getting gum disease.
- Smokers are less likely to respond positively to gum treatment. We typically see less pocket reduction after going through complete gum therapy. Tobacco users who undergo gum treatment also tend to experience continual inflammation and bone loss despite best treatment efforts.
- Smoking causes people to get gum disease sooner than nonsmokers. While adult gum disease typically doesn’t manifest until age 35 to 40 at the earliest, smokers often show bone loss and deep pockets at a much younger age.
- Smokers who complete active gum disease treatment, either through surgery or LANAP, are more likely to relapse than nonsmokers. Sometimes the disease becomes “refractory,” meaning that even after active treatment, it isn’t well controlled.
Let’s say you have lost a tooth and wish to have a permanent replacement. Studies have shown that smoking decreases the chance of a dental implant integrating into the bone properly by 10 to 15 percent.
Smoking increases the chance of infection during the healing process for all oral surgical procedures. Smoking also has the greatest negative impact on bone grafting and gum grafting procedures.
Here are some unpleasant facts about tobacco, according to the World Health Organization:
- Half of tobacco users die from tobacco-related illness
- Tobacco kills about 6 million people annually, with more than 5 million of those being a result of direct tobacco use
- 600,000 nonsmokers die as a result of secondhand smoke exposure
- About 80 percent of the 1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries.
We know that quitting smoke is tough. A Gallup poll found that 85 percent of smokers say they’ve tried unsuccessfully to quit at least once in their lifetime, and 45 percent reported having tried at least three times.
Please call our office if you would like to learn more about our smoking cessation program, or you would like a periodontal checkup. We look forward to having you join us on May 31 in celebrating World No Tobacco Day. Even one day without using tobacco products is a start.