Gum disease causes more adults over the age of 35 to lose teeth than cavities, and at least three out of four adults contract some form of gum disease at some point in their lives. Other factors that have detrimental effects on your oral health include tobacco usage, stress, clenching and grinding teeth, some medications, and poor nutrition.

Daily brushing and diligent oral hygiene are the best ways to prevent cavities and periodontitis, but even with the most thorough home dental care, people can still develop some form of periodontal disease. If you do find yourself with an infection, professional intervention must be taken before it worsens.

Periodontal Disease and Tobacco

The links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer, and heart disease are well documented. More recent research has linked tobacco usage and periodontal disease, showing that periodontal disease is more severe in patients who have a history of tobacco use. Tobacco use causes more abundant calculus formation on teeth, deeper pockets between the gums and teeth, and greater deterioration of the bone and fibers that hold teeth in place.

Contrary to what some may believe, smokeless tobacco is not an easy out—the likelihood of developing oral cancer increases with the use of smokeless tobacco. Nicotine, tar, and other harmful chemicals in smoking and smokeless tobacco slow down healing and probability of success following periodontal treatment. Abandoning tobacco use is the only sure way of preventing harm to your overall and periodontal health.