Adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by daily thorough tooth brushing and flossing, and regular periodic professional cleanings and examinations. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
You are probably familiar with the links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer, and heart disease.
Current studies have now linked periodontal disease with tobacco usage. Studies have shown that smokers are 3 times more likely than non-smokers to lose teeth due to periodontal disease. The disease is often more severe than those of non-users of tobacco. There is a greater incidence of calculus formation on teeth, deeper pockets between gums and teeth as well as greater loss of the bone and fibers that hold teeth in your mouth. In addition, your chance of developing oral cancer increases with the use of smokeless tobacco.
Chemicals in tobacco such as nicotine and tar slow down healing and the predictability of success following periodontal treatment. In addition, smokers have much higher rates of the disease returning after successful treatment.
Problems caused by tobacco include:
Lung disease, heart disease, cancer, mouth sores, gum recession, loss of bone and teeth, bad breath, tooth staining, less success with periodontal treatment, and with dental implants.
Quitting tobacco use in all forms will reduce
the chance of developing the above problems.