What are the effects of smoking on periodontal disease?

November 28, 2022

Smoking can have a significant impact on the teeth. It causes various dental problems, such as bad breath, stained teeth, and a reduction in taste sensation. It also can harm the immune system over time. Delayed recovery after surgery is yet another common side effect of smoking. Smoking also increases the risk of gum disease. The presence of tobacco reduces the blood flow in the gums, which further deprives them of the nutrients and oxygen important for maintaining the health of the gums. 

Smoking can also impact the soft tissue attachment and the bone to the teeth. Smoking interferes with the proper functioning of the gum tissue cells, thus increasing the possibility of infections like gum disease. The gums also become more susceptible to bacterial infection. It may also make the mouth vulnerable to harboring more aggressive bacteria types. 

Impact Of Smoking On Gum

Calculus Formation

Smokers are always at risk of calculus formation compared to those who do not smoke. Those who smoke regularly have deeper pockets between the gums and teeth. It may also lead to excessive tissue loss and the bone supporting the teeth. Calculus, if unremoved by the dentist, stays below the gumline. Professional dental cleaning is required to remove the calculus. If left untreated, bacteria in the calculus could damage the gum tissue, further causing the gums to pull away from the teeth and affecting the pockets, which will be filled with germs. This condition, also known as periodontal disease, leads to the pockets between the gums and teeth growing deeper, allowing more bacteria to damage the supporting bone and tissue.

Bacterial Infection

Smoking can cause a dental abscess. A tooth decay or gum disease, if left untreated, could lead to the development of a bacterial infection, also known as tooth abscess. It happens whenever pus begins to accumulate inside the gums and teeth. The pus usually develops whenever your body tries to fight an infection caused by the bacteria. An abscess is formed whenever the pus is unable to drain by itself. A dental abscess requires immediate medical treatment by a dentist since not treating it might lead the infection to spread to other parts of the body. 

Gum Destruction

Smoking can damage the gums. Those who smoke frequently are at a greater risk of developing gum disease than those who do not smoke. Young smokers are at a greater risk of gum attachment and bone loss than those who do not smoke. 

Tooth Loss

Since smoking causes complete damage to the supporting tissues of the teeth, it gradually starts to become loose, and finally, a dentist may need to extract the loose teeth. Smoking can also cause the tissue and bone holding the teeth to start breaking down, leading the tooth to fall out gradually. 


The dentist may recommend periodontal therapies such as a deep cleaning process that reduces the presence of bacteria and inflammation below the gumline. The dentist may also recommend regular maintenance cleaning appointments to help eliminate periodontal disease. Some of the key benefits of periodontal therapy include delivering a beautiful smile for the person, eliminating persistent bad breath, and giving a fresh breath. It also allows the dentist to identify any potential dental problems quite early. Periodontal therapy can also help remove the tartar from the teeth and below the gum line.


Can Any Dentist Treat Periodontal Disease?

A dentist or a dental hygienist can treat periodontal disease. However, it is desirable to consult a periodontist who is an expert dental professional who can treat periodontal disease. The periodontist knows how to thoroughly clean the pockets around the teeth so that damage to the surrounding bone can be prevented.

Is Periodontal Disease And Gingivitis The Same?

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums. If you leave it untreated, it can progress to a more serious stage known as periodontal disease. One of the key differences between the two is that gingivitis is reversible, whereas periodontal disease is not.