Posted on 9/20/2019 by Cassity & Legacy Implants and Periodontics
Many people are aware of the dangers of cigarettes, choosing to abstain from them to avoid the risk of lung cancer, gum disease, and tooth loss.
However, with the trendiness of hookahs on the rise, the same people who might avoid cigarettes may reach for these water pipes, considering them a safer alternative to smoking. This notion is not only extremely misguided, it's also highly dangerous.
Dangers of Hookahs: The Effects of Water Pipes on Your Gums
Hookahs have been around for over 500 years and, compared to cigarettes, seem safer overall. Many don't even use tobacco (though many do use a special blend of “shisha” tobacco), lending to that erroneous “health halo” surrounding it. New research contradicts this faulty belief that hookahs are safe, revealing that people who smoke hookahs are five times more likely to have gum disease when compared to nonsmokers.
Even more shocking? When compared to nonsmokers, cigarette smokers have only a 3.8 times higher likelihood of developing periodontal disease. What is causing this dramatic difference in gum disease in hookah smokers?
Scientists have a few suggestions as to why:
Hookah smoking dries out the mouth. Saliva lends moisture and cleansing to the mouth, and in its absence, the mouth is more vulnerable to infection and cavities.
Smoking hookah reduces circulation to your mouth. This prevents oxygen and vital nutrients from reaching your gums, leading to poor oral health.
Hookah slows wound healing and makes it more difficult for your body to fight infections. This means that once your mouth does start to develop tooth decay and gum disease, your body won't be able to fight it off as well.
Smoking is a nasty habit, and smoking hookah is no better. It's expensive, it smells terrible, and it can absolutely destroy your teeth and gums. If you are a smoker, you are at higher risk of gum disease; stopping smoking is absolutely critical to good oral health.
Regular dental appointments can help reverse some of the damage of smoking, so please give our office a call today to schedule a comprehensive exam with a cleaning.
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