May 31st is World No Tobacco Day
Did you know that smoking is a leading cause of tooth decay and tooth loss? And our region has a large number of smokers, with West Virginia having one of the highest rates of smoking among adults in all 50 states (See Report).
The negative impact of nicotine on gum tissue is well known. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Older adults who smoke cigarettes are twice as likely to have untreated tooth decay as those who never smoked, and people who smoke are also three times more likely to lose all of their teeth.
Vaping, Gum Disease and Tooth Loss
If you think that vaping is any better for oral health, you are probably mistaken. E-cigarettes use propylene glycol as a carrier. When vaped, propylene glycol becomes lactic acid, acetic acid, and propionaldehyde. These chemical byproducts can quickly erode tooth enamel and the mouth’s soft tissue, leading to gum disease and tooth loss.
How Can Gum Disease and Tooth Loss Be Prevented?
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- Floss to remove plaque.
- See a dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
- Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, vape, or use chewing tobacco–quit.
Surgery is sometimes required to remove tartar deep under the gums to help heal any bone or gums lost. Your oral surgeon may use small bits of bone to fill places where bone has been lost or move tissue from one place in your mouth to cover exposed tooth roots.
If you have questions about tobacco use, gum disease, and tooth loss you may Contact Us online or call our offices at 301-791-1700. Oral and Facial Surgery has locations in Hagerstown, Maryland and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and our offices are just a short drive from Martinsburg, West Virginia.