Gum disease that can lead to tooth loss is three times more common in smokers As well as those pathologies that acquire “greater severity” as smoking causes early symptoms such as bleeding gums, warns to consult dentists within the framework of Gum Health Day celebrated on May 12.
“At the oral level, smoking lowers the defense system and favors the proliferation of microorganisms, called periodontal pathogens, that cause lesions in the tissues surrounding the tooth,” says Alejandra Patricia, member of the board of directors of the Argentine Society Tortarolo explained. of Periodontics (SAP).
“The scientific community worldwide agrees that smoking triples the risk of suffering from gum diseases. The relationship has been overwhelmingly demonstrated,” continued the specialist in periodontics, a branch of dentistry that Pertains to pathology affecting the gums. The gums and supporting structures of the teeth.
To raise awareness of the importance of quitting smoking for oral health, the Argentine Association of Respiratory Medicine and the Argentine Society of Periodontics came together to take collaborative action within the framework of Gum Health Day, organized by the European Federation of Periodontics (EFP) promotes. In over 40 countries on May 12.
Pathology and its consequences
Caries and gum diseases are among the most frequent oral pathologies in Argentina, such as periodontitis or gingivitis, a condition that is replicated worldwide with 45 percent of the population (3,500 million people) suffering from some dental condition. Are. , according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) report published late last year.
Periodontal disease, which can cause bone and tooth loss, is a pathology of multifactorial, infectious and inflammatory origin that is located in the tissues that support the teeth and in the gums that protect them.
The root cause is common oral bacteria that stick to the surface of the teeth and form an invisible film that causes discoloration (usually red), gingivitis, bleeding during brushing or eating, and eventually, a gingivitis reaction. Is. Pus coming out on pressing them.
In advanced stages, mobility of tooth fragments is detected and without treatment, this can end with tooth loss.
“Smoking accelerates this process and amplifies it given the amount of toxins it contains, added to the heat and smoke, which create conditions in the mouth that favor the overgrowth of these pathogenic microorganisms, Tortarolo said.
For her part, former SAP president Paula Pedreira indicated that “tobacco makes periodontal disease more severe and makes treatment difficult. If the patient continues to smoke, he may end up injecting toxins into the gums.” continues.”
Similarly, the dentist cautioned that smokers have a “slower response” to treatment and remarked that the consequences of periodontal disease are “more severe” because tobacco first exacerbates symptoms.
On this point, Tortarolo noted that “the patient who smokes often does not notice his inflamed gum because the cigarette masks it, but the internal destruction is more severe than if he did not smoke.”
Thus, tobacco reduces bleeding gums, which is the first sign of disease, because it produces a vasoconstrictor effect that hinders blood circulation.
“That’s why we say gum laughs on the outside, but cries on the inside. Although gum doesn’t bleed, internally the destruction is serious,” Tortarolo underscored.
Studies promoted by SAP and the Dental Confederation of the Argentine Republic (CORA) showed that 96.8 percent of the adult population had some degree of periodontal pathology and 14.3 percent required complex treatment.
“Studies have warned that only 3.2 percent of the population had periodontal health,” commented Pedreira, noting that the dental community regrets that “the number of patients with periodontal disease has not decreased over time.”
“It’s a shame, but there has been no improvement. Worldwide numbers have remained stable,” said the expert, explaining that scientific societies promote that “the general population can recognize that gums Bleeding gums are a problem that must be treated. A healthy gum does not bleed”.