Want to Keep Your Teeth Healthy? Don’t Smoke!

Dr. Levine writes about the topic of smoking and periodontal health in a recent online article published on Safe and Healthy Life, a lifestyle website that covers topics like health, fitness, food, beauty, parenting and mindfulness. In “Don’t Smoke If You Value Your Teeth,” Dr. Levine comments on a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine which shows that smokers were nearly three times as likely to experience severe corona virus symptoms as compared to non-smokers.

The report was the result of an online survey conducted by University College of London (UCL), funded by England’s Department of Health and Social Care. The survey notes that nearly one million people in the United Kingdom had stopped smoking during COVID-19, which we’re thrilled to hear.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms tobacco use in any form (cigarettes, pipes, even smokeless or spit tobacco) increases your risk for gum disease. As we frequently tell our patients, when it comes to your teeth, smokers:

  • Lose teeth at an approximately 250% increased rate
  • Face a greater risk of peri-implantitis (implant failure)
  • Can experience slower healing and greater infection rates
  • Are more susceptible to jawbone loss

Dr. Levine points to the overwhelming evidence showing that people who smoke tend to have more tartar and bacteria on their teeth from the combined negative effects of nicotine and decreased saliva. Smoking can mask signs of gum disease, since nicotine, which increases our heart rates and blood pressure, also restricts blood flow to our gums.

You can read Dr. Levine’s full article here.