Is Your Nicotine Habit Masking Gum Disease?
It comes to no surprise that nicotine is harmful to your health. You may associate nicotine with chewing tobacco or smoking a cigarette. However, nicotine is also found in the latest e-cigarette trend as well. Regardless of how it is delivered, nicotine can wreak havoc on your oral health, especially your gums.
Nicotine is known for commonly masking the signs of gum disease. This is a major detriment to your oral health because undiagnosed and untreated gum disease can lead to surrounding bone loss, tooth loss and overall health problems. Gum disease should always be taken seriously, and your nicotine habit could be making it harder to detect its symptoms.
To better understand the way nicotine affects your gum health, it is important to realize that nicotine is a vasoconstrictor. This means that it has the capability of prohibiting proper blood flow to your gum tissues. Without enough oxygen and nutrients that your blood supplies, your gums can begin to deteriorate and recede. But that’s not all.
Gum disease is primarily identified in the early stages by bleeding, swollen and red gums. However, because nicotine is a vasoconstrictor and increased blood flow to the gums is suppressed, these telltale signs are not as obvious. In essence, you may have gum disease and your nicotine habit is masking this serious condition.
The best way to prevent gum disease is to maintain a diligent brushing and flossing habit and see your dentist on a regular basis. Kicking a nicotine habit is always in the best interest of your smile health. However, if you do vape, smoke or chew nicotine-containing products, let your dentist know. At Gilreath Dental Associates, we take extra measures to monitor the gum health of those who use nicotine. If you notice receding gums, bad breath or loose teeth, make an appointment to see us sooner rather than later.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates