Smoking with gum disease

Everyone knows smoking is detrimental to your health. Many don’t know that smoking is the main cause of gum disease. It causes cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. But not many people may know that tobacco use can cause periodontal disease. How much do you know about tobacco use and periodontal disease? Take your Lake Forest Dentist, Dr. Fondriest’s, true or false quiz below to find out.

True or False

  1. T or F: Only smoking cigarettes increases your risk of developing gum disease.
  2. T or F: People who use tobacco products tend to experience more severe periodontal disease.
  3. T or F: If smokers brushed their teeth several times throughout the day, that would keep periodontal disease at bay.
  4. T or F: Healing after periodontal treatment can be inhibited if you continue using tobacco.


  1. False: It doesn’t matter whether you smoke a pipe or cigarettes, dip, or chew, tobacco use in any form increases your risk of developing periodontal disease and other oral health issues.
  2. True:  Tobacco users not only have a higher risk of developing periodontal disease, it also tends to progress faster and be more severe.
  3. False: It is not so much how many times smokers brush their teeth daily as how tobacco affects their mouth. For instance, smoking reduces blood flow in your gum tissue. Blood flow helps keep your gums healthy.  A decrease in blood flow makes it more difficult for the smoker to fight gum infection. More tartar forms on a smoker’s teeth which leads to gum disease, and smoking also contributes to an unhealthy imbalance between harmful and beneficial bacteria in your mouth.
  4. True: The nicotine, tar, and other chemicals in tobacco can slow down the healing process and make periodontal treatment less successful.

Learn more about why smoking with gum disease is bad

Aside from providing dependable general and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.