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Can smoking cause gingivitis?

Carol Jahn
Dentist

A new report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirms that smoking makes you 4 times more likely than a 'never smoker' to have gum/periodontal disease. However, smokers sometimes do not experience gingivitis to the extent a non-smoker may. The nicotine in tobacco constricts blood vessels making bleeding during tooth brushing less likely. So, just because you don't experience the 'traditional signs' of gingivitis, does not mean your mouth is healthy. The CDC report also found smokers were less likely to visit a dentist. Keep in mind, if you smoke, it's likely you have gum problems so schedule that dental visit and have a thorough periodontal evaluation and oral cancer screening. Tobacco is the leading cause of oral cancer as well.

Smoking can be a risk factor in increasing the chances of developing periodontal disease. People who smoke or chew tobacco are more likely to have periodontal disease. Periodontal treatment is also less successful in patients who continue to smoke. Do yourself a favor and quit smoking today! Good oral hygiene is key. Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day, clean between your teeth once a day, eat a balanced diet and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for periodontal disease, including gingivitis. Compared to nonsmokers, smokers are more likely to develop deep periodontal pockets between their teeth and gums. Smokers are also more likely than nonsmokers to lose teeth and the tissue that support the teeth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.