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Smoking and periodontitis

Periodontitis can progress much faster in smokers than in non-smokers, leading to much more rapid tooth loss. Treatment of periodontitis is also less successful in smokers, as they can take longer to heal.

How to treat periodontitis

Gum disease can be treated by completely halting the progression of unwanted bacteria in your mouth. Depending on how advanced your case is, your dentist may put into place the following treatments.

  • Oral hygiene advice and instruction
  • Professional tooth cleaning
  • Antibiotic treatment
  • Surgical treatment
  • Aftercare, which would include a series of regular follow up appointments.

You can prevent the development of gum disease by visiting your dentist regularly and maintaining a good oral hygiene routine.

Periodontology

This is the study of the soft and hard tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth, which includes your gums. All together these tissues are called the periodontium. Your periodontium consists of living tissues that can adapt and change, adjusting their shape and thickness around your teeth. The health of your periodontium is vital to the health of your teeth.

The components of your periodontium include your tooth socket; a bony pouch in which the tooth is positioned. This is then connected to the jaw by the supporting root of the tooth, which is not usually visible in a healthy mouth. The root reaches down into the tooth socket and is covered with a layer of cementum. A complex arrangement of miniscule fibres wrap around the root cementum and the tooth socket, holding the tooth in place. This is known as the periodontal ligament.

Periodontitis (gum disease)

Periondontitis, also known as gum disease, is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Your gums act as a shock absorber, preventing any damage when you’re biting and chewing your food. They also keep your teeth securely attached to your jaw, allowing them to work together comfortably. If your gums become inflamed and recede due to gum disease, then you could lose that support and consequently, a tooth.

Symptoms and cause

Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque. If your mouth is not brushed thoroughly, it can be the perfect breeding ground for unwanted bacteria. Below, you’ll find some of the early signs of gum disease.

Inflammation of the gums, making it painful to brush, eat and drink.
Your gums may begin to recede, revealing the root of your tooth and making your teeth more sensitive.
Bleeding when you brush. For smokers, this symptom may go unnoticed as the nicotine can slow down your blood circulation, allowing gum disease to advance dramatically under the radar.

Periodontitis can develop slowly over time, so it’s very important to visit your dentist regularly as you may not notice the symptoms until it’s too late.