Monday, March 23, 2009

Smoking and Gum Disease: A Double Whammy For Your Heart

I know I've blogged about this before, but those were just articles I've read in the past. Well, a recent visit to my dentist confirmed everything for me. After a routine cleaning, my dentist asked me how many packs a day I smoke. A little embarrassed, I answered, reluctantly, just under a pack. He then went on, all joking aside, to give me a very informative piece of information. First he told me that I'm lucky I don't have gum disease and that I should stop smoking before I do. He said tobacco wreaks havoc on your gums causing gum and perio disease, and even oral cancer. At this point, I'm thinking this is typical advice from a dentist. He then went on to explain how smoking affects your cardiovascular system. Again, something I was familiar with, but didn't quite understand what it had to do with my teeth. So, I asked the question "what does this have to do with my teeth?" He told me that gum disease has been linked to cardiovascular disease and other heart problems. And smoking causes gum disease. So, basically, all I'm doing is doubling my chances of having heart problems later in life. This really freaked me out. Hearing it from your actual dentist is far more eye-opening than simply reading about it in an article. I just thought I'd put it out there that this is something that is happening more frequently and it's just one more reason to quit!

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