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Stop Smoking to Reduce Your Risk of Gum Disease

StopSmokingtoReduceYourRiskofGumDisease

Your risk for periodontal (gum) disease increases if you’re not brushing or flossing effectively. You can also have a higher risk if you’ve inherited thinner gum tissues from your parents. But there’s one other risk factor for gum disease that’s just as significant: if you have a smoking habit.

According to research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a little more than sixty percent of smokers develop gum disease in their lifetime at double the risk of non-smokers. And it’s not just cigarettes—any form of tobacco use (including smokeless) or even e-cigarettes increases the risk for gum disease.

Smoking alters the oral environment to make it friendlier for disease-causing bacteria. Some chemicals released in tobacco can damage gum tissues, which can cause them to gradually detach from the teeth. This can lead to tooth loss, which smokers are three times more likely to experience than non-smokers.

Smoking may also hide the early signs of gum disease like red, swollen or bleeding gums. But because the nicotine in tobacco restricts the blood supply to gum tissue, the gums of a smoker with gum disease may look healthy. But it’s a camouflage, which could delay prompt treatment that could prevent further damage.

Finally because tobacco can inhibit the body’s production of antibodies to fight infection, smoking may slow the healing process after gum disease treatment.  This also means tobacco users have a higher risk of a repeat infection, something known as refractory periodontitis. This can create a cycle of treatment and re-infection that can significantly increase dental care costs.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can substantially lower your risk of gum disease and its complications by quitting any kind of tobacco habit. As it leaves your system, your body will respond much quicker to heal itself. And quitting will definitely increase your chances of preventing gum disease in the first place.

Quitting, though, can be difficult, so it’s best not to go it alone. Talk with your doctor about ways to kick the habit; you may also benefit from the encouragement of family and friends, as well as support groups of others trying to quit too. To learn more about quitting tobacco visit www.smokefree.gov or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

If you would like more information on how smoking can affect your oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Smoking and Gum Disease.”

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19th Floor One Financial PlzHartford, CT 06103-2608

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Monday:

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What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "Great dentist -- I've had multiple procedures at his practice -- cleanings, fillings, and crowns -- all work has been excellent. The entire crew at Capitol Dental makes going to the dentist a pleasure -- how often can you say that?"
    Paul M.
  • "Dr. Haroian is an outstanding dentist. I've been seeing him for 13 years and can't imagine going to anyone else. I highly recommend him."
    John N.
  • "Dr. Haroian is a great dentist. He is personable and makes the visit enjoyable. He goes above and beyound to ensure the proper care for my teeth. If you are looking for an effective trustwothy dentist, I highly recommend Dr. Haroian."
    Mike B.
  • "I highly recommend Dr Haroian. My family and I have been seeing him for for more than 20 years. He is very competent, honest and accessible."
    Elizabeth D.
  • "My family and I have been going to Gregory Haroian for all of our dentistry needs since 2004. My husband and I and our four children are all clients. Appointments are on-time. The staff is helpful and personable, and we have always had great results. Thanks Greg!"
    Karen R.
  • "I have used Dr Haroian as my dentist most of my adult life. Also my family including my wife and two children. His office has always been an excellent place to receive dental care. I would and have recommended him to all my friends and family."
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