The Link Between Gum Recession and Smoking

Gum recession can be frightening and sometimes uncomfortable. Being aware of what gum recession looks like as well as how one can prevent it from occurring can be helpful.

While there are a lot of different factors that contribute to the cause of gum recession, people that smoke or use tobacco frequently are more likely to experience gum recession. Read more in this article as we discuss why this is, it may be beneficial to consider, especially for people who are heavy tobacco users.

Gum recession

What is gum recession?

Sometimes people find that their gums are pulling back from their teeth, thus making the teeth look longer or bigger. This usually means that the gums are receding and almost anyone can be affected by it. However, people that smoke frequently or use tobacco products are at a much higher risk of gum recession than that of an average person who doesn’t smoke or use tobacco.

How does smoking cause gum recession?

While gum recession can occur for a number of different reasons, the main cause is by people that smoke heavily. People that smoke tobacco such as cigarettes is more likely to experience problems with their gums - both recession and disease.

When tobacco products are inhaled, the agents within them stick to the teeth and gums causing tartar to form. Tartar will block the gum lines or eventually eat away at the gum line, thus causing the recession to occur. When someone breathes in tobacco, the harmful agents attack the gums over time making them prone to diseases which can lead to gum recession.

Smoking also causes a decrease in saliva flow which harms the gums over time as well. When there is less saliva in the mouth, the gums aren’t able to thrive as well. Saliva contains minerals that keep the teeth and gums healthy and without it, a disease is more likely to occur.

Avoiding gum recession

When people smoke cigarettes or consume heavy amounts of tobacco, their gums are likely to recede because tobacco eats away at the gum tissue. It’s best to rid of tobacco use or limit it as much as possible. Talk with a periodontist and a doctor to figure out ways to quit using tobacco products. They will help make suggestions so that the gums are able to get back to healthy shape.

It’s always best to brush and floss regularly so that the gums do stay in healthy shape. When people smoke regularly, more bacteria and harmful agents are likely to be present on the teeth and around the gums. It is important to brush and floss regularly to rid the teeth and gum lines of these harmful things.

Talking with a dentist is ultimately the best thing that someone can do if they suspect that their gums are receding. A dentist can examine the gums closely to determine the best method of treatment. However, it is likely that they will first recommend that smoking is put to a complete stop, as it will only harm the gums further.

Gum recession can be frightening and knowing what to do can be even more frightening. However, it is best to talk with a dentist about what to do and people that smoke or use tobacco should stop or cut back as much as they can.

If you have questions about gum recession then reach out to our office today. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns that you might have. Give us a call or stop in today!

Request an appointment here: or call Smiles On Michigan at (312) 509-9492 for an appointment in our Chicago office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: I Think My Gums Are Receding.

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