Often times, the life expectancy of people who smoke (for a certain length of time) is decreased by 14 years. Smoking not only alters the body’s immune response and causes bad breath, but it increases the risk of gum disease (periodontal disease) by two to seven-fold. Of course, the effects that smoking tobacco has on the periodontal tissues depends on how many cigarettes smoked daily and how long the person has sthe habits. Usually the periodontal tissues of men rather than women are more effected. Also, if you are being treated for gum disease, there are 4,000+ chemicals in cigarettes that slow down the healing of the gums including: formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, ammonia, arsenic.
Smoking also gives a favorable environment for bacteria in the mouth like P. gingivalis, P. intermedia, and A.actinomycetemcomitans, because the byproducts of smoking inhibit the mechanisms that restrict the growth of bad bacteria in the oral cavity. With that said, smoking can encourage the early stages of periodontal lesions. Smoking cigars and pipes have similar negative effects that cigarettes do on oral health. So not only does smoking increase the damage that periodontal disease does, but it decreases the gum’s response to treatment, possibly causing refractory disease. According to resources, if a person quits smoking, it is very likely that the harmful effects of tobacco use (on periodontal health) will gradually be stopped. Therefore, if you are a smoker with oral health problems, it is definitely the best idea to quit smoking.