Thanks to the efforts of the American Lung Association, it’s no secret that secondhand smoke is harmful to our lungs. Now a recent study conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has discovered that it also increases your risk of developing moderate to severe periodontitis. Periodontitis, also known as gum disease, is an infection caused by the bacteria in your mouth and can have devastating effects not only on your teeth and gums but the rest of your body also.
This study was conducted on a group of 3255 lifetime non-smokers and measured the levels of a nicotine byproduct known as serum continine in their blood. Subjects also underwent extensive periodontal exams to determine the health of their teeth and gums. Those with elevated levels in their blood were 1.5 times more likely to have periodontitis than those who had none.
If you were waiting for just one more good reason to avoid being around tobacco smoke, this is it. Periodontitis begins by causing damage to your teeth and gums; but when left untreated, that same bacteria will spread through your bloodstream and cause inflammation in other areas of your body such as your heart.
If you are noticing any of these gum disease symptoms, you should schedule an appointment right away for a comprehensive oral exam at Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants:
- Tender, swollen red gums
- Bleeding during brushing and flossing
- Teeth appearing longer than they used to
- Loose teeth or spaces between teeth that weren’t there before
- Chronic bad breath
The good news is that there are many options to treat and reverse the damage caused by gum disease. Only a board-certified periodontist has access to the latest technologies to help your gums be restored to their full health again. Contact us to schedule your appointment today.