Everyone knows that smoking gives you bad breath, but not everyone is aware that it greatly increases your likelihood of developing periodontal disease. The facts and figures are compelling. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that for people aged 65 and above, smokers are 2x more likely to lose all their teeth compared to non-smokers.
Part of the problem lies in the fact that smokers tend to have poorer oral hygiene than non-smokers as they are perhaps less health-conscious. Smokers are more likely to have significant calculus deposits that can only be removed during a professional cleaning, and this can depend on whether or not a person is a pipe or a cigarette smoker. Some researchers have found that pipe smokers tend to have more significant deposits1 of supragingival calculus. There is speculation that this is due to the fact that pipe smoke is of a higher pH than cigarette smoke, and pipe smokers tend to keep the smoke in the mouth for longer and produce more saliva which contains calcium, exacerbating the deposits of calculus.
Wow, how time flies! Today we celebrate Leanne’s 30th anniversary as a dental hygienist. This is an amazing milestone that few have managed to reach. I have had the great fortune of working with her for the past few years , and I can tell you from firsthand experience, Leanne is an amazing person.
I first met Leanne a little over two years ago, and immediately took a liking to her after she had brought home-baked cookies for everyone in the office. At the time, I was still an intern, and after all the wonderful stories I had heard, was quite nervous about meeting her. But Leanne is an absolute joy to be around. After seeing me at my corner desk, she made the long walk over to me, introduced herself, and insisted that I take one of her delicious home-baked cookies. I thought to myself “Wow, she’s super cool!”
Leanne Carlson w/ Dr. Claude Ibbott
Gum disease is by far one of the most common problem in cats, dogs and horses, and just like humans, gum disease can impact the whole body and have serious consequences for their health and well-being. The trouble is many animals hide their pain, and the disease is frequently late in being diagnosed.
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, gum disease is estimated to affect around 80% of dogs and 70% of cats by the time they reach the age of three, although they can suffer from the disease from the age of six months onwards. Around a third of horses will suffer from some degree of periodontal disease, and about 60% of horses aged 13 years and older will have severe periodontal disease.
Gum disease in cats and dogs
With cats and dogs, just like in humans, the disease begins with signs of gingivitis, with the gum tissues becoming reddened and inflamed, and if not treated will result in periodontal pockets forming around the infected teeth. As the condition worsens, the symptoms the most common signs include bad breath, lack of appetite, weight loss, and a discharge from the eyes or nose. It’s more prevalent in animals that eat a lot of soft foods, and amongst those who don’t receive regular tooth brushing at home, or veterinary care.