If you smoke, you may be putting your gums and mouth at a higher risk of infection. Smokers’ risk of gum disease is twice that of non-smokers. That’s because when you smoke, the infection fighters in your body take a hit and your immune systems weakens. This means you have to work harder to fend off gum disease. And there’s good incentive to do so—smoking can also discolor your teeth and puts you at increased risk for white patches in the mouth that are referred to as leukoplakia. If you smoke, follow these steps and tips to keep your mouth clean
The more cigarettes you smoke, the higher your risk for gum disease. So even if you aren’t ready to quit, cutting back can help the health of your gums. It’s also important to know that, in the unfortunate event that you do develop gum disease, treatments do not always work as effectively for people who smoke. Also, it’s not only cigarettes that affect your gum health in these ways—it is tobacco in any form, whether that’s cigarettes, pipes, smokeless tobacco or dip.
A full rinse routine also includes brushing and flossing. Keep in mind that brushing alone gets the mouth only 25% clean. To get your whole mouth clean be sure to include flossing and rinsing with LISTERINE® mouthwash.