If gum disease goes untreated, then eventually, as with the effects of smoking the gum tissue dies and recedes. The bacteria that caused the gums to be inflamed can then infect the gum, spread into the jaw bone and begin eroding the bone surrounding the tooth.
This condition is called periodontitis and can eventually lead to the tooth becoming loose and ultimately lost. Generally, this is how people lose their teeth over the longer term if gum disease is not treated.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment usually begins with regular in-depth cleaning sessions with the dental hygienist.
The hygienist will, in turn, give advice and instruction on how best to keep the mouth clean at home in between visits. This advice often comprises switching to an electric toothbrush, regular interdental cleaning with either floss or interdental brushes and the use of specific antibacterial mouthwashes or gels.
If the condition is acute, antibiotics may be needed as part of a full mouth disinfection.
It would be advisable that smokers consider giving up the habit to help maintain the long-term health of the gums and teeth.