It is well known that smoking not only negatively affects your physical health but your oral health too. According to the American Lung Association, approximately more than 7000 chemicals mixed with nicotine are found in tobacco. It’s difficult to stop due to the addictive qualities nicotine has on people, along with the withdrawal symptoms caused. However, the adverse effects are far worse long-term for your oral health, as gum disease, tooth loss, oral cancer, and halitosis are some of the many risks to look out for. Keep reading for a better understanding on these:
Gum disease or gingivitis, which could possibly lead to periodontitis, can be caused by smoking. The build-up of plaque on the teeth, which could then harden to tartar, is increased bacteria buildup, creating red, inflamed, and bleeding gums that could develop into an infection. Smoking hinders the healing process, and if left unchecked, the issues could lead to tooth loss. There are multiple symptoms and risk factors, but it’s essential to check it out with your dentist if you see red flag signs. It is crucial to prevent the effects from getting worse over time.
Oral Effects of Smoking:
The adverse effects of smoking lead to tooth decay, teeth discoloration, and bad breath (halitosis) caused by the build-up of tar and nicotine. With this, your sense of taste begins to decrease along with your appetite. Nicotine, when combined with oxygen, is known to cause discoloration. The tar build-up leaves behind yellow or black discoloration on the teeth and an intense build-up on the tongue called the smoker’s tongue. These are a combination of adverse effects caused by the ingredients being absorbed in the mouth.
Prevention & Treatment For Gum Disease and Oral Health:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Mouth Wash
- Floss every day
- See a dentist regularly
- Deep cleaning
- Medications (if treatment is needed)
- Quit smoking
Risk of Oral Cancer:
According to the WHO, smoking leads to multiple forms of cancer and accounts for 90% of them, including oral cancer. It is known to weaken the immune system and make healing harder. If you have regular checkups with your dentist, such as Summer Creek Dental, you can detect the symptoms in their early stages. An oral cancer screening is highly recommended for smokers as 27% of deaths recorded in Europe in 2018 have been positively linked to smoking. Mouth cancer is likely to be developed in the tongue, lips, and throat.
If you can quit smoking, it has been found that the build of bacteria decreases, and your sense of taste and smell start to return. Your mouth can be restored once you quit with your practitioner’s help, which will most likely bring back a bright smile and a better mood. If leaving isn’t entirely on the cards yet, it’s essential to take extra care of your oral health and regularly assist in prevention.
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