You might be asking yourselves what has smoking to do with gum disease. We all have heard of smoking can cause mouth cancer on top of lung and other kinds of cancer, but gum disease!!

Now, of course there is a scientific explanation behind this fact and here I am going to explain it:

As we have talked about it in our other posts, body has a different ways of fighting with any harm coming to it. One of these ways is inflammatory response. With inflammatory response, body is defending itself from harmful stimuli. Imagine if you scratch your arm, what happens first, it goes white because you have pushed on blood vessels. Then it becomes red, hot and swollen because blood vessels have opened up to send the soldiers (immune cells) to the location to take care of the problem. It hurts too, because of the release of chemical. It is the way of our body telling us: ” Hey buddy, something is wrong and you better pay attention to it before it kills you.” And we should be thanking our stars for this, otherwise we would not have lived long enough to know there is a star with our name on it!!

Did I mention that not all these immune cells (soldiers) are discrete? Actually some of them kill not just bad or offending cells but they kill our own good ones as well…..oops.

Now, what is the roll of the toxins in cigarettes, in all of this?

Smoking causes narrowing of blood vessels (vasoconstriction) and impairs the immune response by reducing the numbers and function of the good ones and increasing the number of the bad ones. This shift affects the gum and bone surrounding our teeth. Smoking disrupts healing and contributes towards destruction of our cells hence causing loss of bone and loss of our teeth when there is no bone to hold them there. Teeth become loose and they fall out. I have seen it happening and it is not pretty!!

I hope this helps.

To be continued…

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