Smoking is a common habit, but many people do not realize it is a direct link to gum recession. There are many alarming stories about smoking and the negative effects it may have on your general health, but many people do not know that it can also greatly affect your oral health by creating an increased risk for gum disease and even oral cancer. Gum recession is a common issue in adults, and the cause is often not realized. If you have a history of smoking, you may fall victim to gum recession, or you could possibly already be experiencing it. The risk of gum disease and one of its major accomplices, gum recession, increases substantially when you smoke cigarettes or use tobacco in any form.
One of the first signs of periodontal disease, a detrimental condition that develops in your gums and causes deep infection and tooth loss, is gum recession. When you have not kept up with dental visits or made oral hygiene a priority, you may fall prey to periodontal disease. A few other factors, like smoking, can also contribute to the potential development of the condition. Since smoking involves direct contact with nicotine, smoke, and other toxins to your teeth, gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth, all of those tissues become weakened over time, increasing your chances of gum recession. Every time that you smoke you become more susceptible to developing problems with your gums. If gum recession is caught in the beginning stages, it can be slowed and nearly reversed, but if smoking continues and gum recession persists, you can have irreversible and unappealing damage that causes great discomfort. Even if your gum recession can be helped, smokers have a slower healing process because their oral tissue is generally weaker than the average non-smoker.
Not only does gum recession mar your appearance, it can also cause you to experience discomfort when you eat due to the exposed nerve endings near your teeth. These exposed nerve endings make your teeth more susceptible to decay. Even if your teeth are worked on and preventative measures are taken, you may still be subjected to tooth loss because of continued smoking. These problems are a physical and financial burden. Replacing lost teeth can be expensive and time-consuming, and your replacement teeth may never be as high-functioning as your natural teeth were. However, if you have your gums treated at the first sign of gum disease, the damage can be reversed, and your teeth may be saved.
If you smoke and already have some gum recession, Old Alabama Dental Care is able to help. If you are a smoker and are not sure if your gums are showing signs of recession, we can tell you. You can also watch for signs that include red and swollen gums, bleeding gums, and teeth that appear longer than normal. If you have neglected your oral health by continued smoking, now is the time to start paying attention. Visit Old Alabama Dental Care at the first sign of a problem to give yourself the best chance of having healthy gums and retaining your natural teeth.