Can cigarettes cause gum disease?
"No. Nicotine does not cause the problem. However, it changes the status of the smallest blood vessels - capillaries. Nicotine constricts the capillaries, as if they are "blocked," and that prevents the body's defenses to cope with the infection. Moreover, clogged capillaries cannot bleed and that “masks” the disease for the smoker in all its early stages. The smoker becomes aware that he suffers from gum disease in its last stages, when the tooth is shaking or falling. Any smoker is a difficult dental case, and because of the clogged capillaries, he or she may respond poorly to the treatment. This vicious circle and the fact that in Bulgaria there are so many heavy smokers (over 10 cigarettes a day) make periodontal diseases endemic to smokers and the loss of teeth - a mass phenomenon. I advise smokers to visit regularly their dentist in order to check the condition of the bone on X-rays.
Only an X-ray can diagnose the early forms of periodontitis in smokers!"