Gum (Periodontal) Disease and Second Hand Smoke

second hand smokeSmokers have a higher risk of periodontal (gum) disease than non-smokers and smoking can be linked to more than half of the periodontal cases seen in the United States.

However smokers are not the only ones effected. Research shows that secondhand smoke can also increase risk. Non-smokers suffer many of the same diseases (heart disease, chronic respiratory disease) as that of active smokers when they breathe secondhand smoke. Between 70% -90% of non-smokers in the American population, including children and adults, are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

The EPA has classified secondhand smoke as Class A which is a substance known to cause cancer because it contains over 4000 chemicals and 200 known poisons.

Oral Problems That Can Be Related to Cigarette Smoking:

  • Bad Breath
  • Bone Loss
  • Yellowing of the teeth
  • Tooth Loss
  • Gum Recession
  • Mouth sores
  • Oral Cancer

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health shows that exposure to secondhand smoke, even for a few hours a day, can double the risk of gum disease. This study used data from another study that included more than 2,700 nonsmokers between the ages of 53 and 74, concluding that people who are exposed to less than 25 hours of secondhand smoke a week may have a 29% higher chance of gum disease.

Smoking increases the chance of deep pockets developing between the teeth and gums, allowing a breeding ground for bacteria to grow Left untreated, tissue and bones deteriorate and eventually teeth may fall out.

Using tobacco products not only reduces the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to gum tissue, but also impairs the body’s defense mechanisms.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by avoiding secondhand smoke will decrease your risk of developing gum disease and increase your overall health.

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