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Smoking and the link to gum disease

Smokers teeth Most of us are well educated on the relationships of smoking and cancer, respiratory problems and heart disease.

Little has been mentioned in the past on the STRONG relationships of smoking and DENTAL and GUM disease (periodontal disease).

Recent studies and much scientific evidence now consider smoking to be the greatest environmental risk factor to your gum (periodontal) disease.

Our office is concerned about your periodontal health and we consider smoking to be a MAJOR CONTRIBUTING FACTOR to your periodontal condition and our ability to treat it successfully.

Read the FACTS
on the relationship of

  1. Smokers have more dental and periodontal disease than non-smokers. Many studies show that smokers have fewer teeth, more cavities, 67% higher chance of tooth loss and more bone loss than non-smokers.
  2. A survey conducted in our office (Dr. Shapoff's) found that 50% of our patients are smokers compared to a national average of 20%-22% smokers in the population. This indicates that more people with serious periodontal disease ARE SMOKERS.
  3. The highest percentages of our patients with advanced disease were young female smokers. Smoking is particularly harmful to this group of young patients and advanced disease means more complex and costly treatment with less favorable results.
  4. The nicotine in cigarettes causes constriction of blood vessels. This results in less visible signs of inflammation, less gum bleeding and disruption of your defense mechanism to mouth bacteria.
  5. Smoking causes an increase in many of the harmful bacteria responsible for gum pockets, bone loss and gum infections.
  6. The results of periodontal (gum) treatment and wound healing are less favorable in smokers compared to non-smokers. Gum problems may reoccur more frequently in-patients who are smokers.
  7. Smoking alters your defense mechanism against oral bacteria. Studies show 50% reduction of action of white blood cells responsible for killing bacteria in smokers.
  8. The gum tissues around the upper front teeth are often greatly affected by the chemicals of cigarettes.
  9. Periodontal disease gets a head start with smokers because smoking masks the telltale signs of gum disease.

Due to the effects of nicotine on the blood vessels, smokers have less gum bleeding and less gum redness, two early warning signs.

Our office wants your periodontal treatment to be successful and long-lasting. Quitting smoking will definitely help in the treatment of your gum (periodontal) disease. It's a tough habit quit but do yourself a favor-QUIT. Save your teeth, lungs and life.

We would be happy to direct you to individuals who can help you control and quit the smoking habit.

It's going to be a lot easier to treat your gum problems if you can control or eliminate one of the harmful contributing factors.


71 Beach Road, Fairfield, CT. 06430    203-255-7771
2 Cherry Street, Milford, CT 06460    203-878-8596

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