How does smoking affect oral health?
Posted by EVERYONES FAMILY DENTAL on Jan 13 2021, 04:59 AM
Maintaining optimum oral health can significantly affect your overall health. The mouth is considered as the gateway to the body, and rightly so. One particular habit that depreciates not only your oral health but the state of your overall health too is smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco. It is known to be the leading cause of oral cancer and a few other dental conditions.
How does smoking cause oral cancer?
Tobacco contains hundreds of carcinogens (cancer-causing agents). They affect the tissues of the mouth and promote the growth of cancer cells in the soft lining of the mouth. Dentists from all around the world agree that early screening of oral cancer can save thousands of lives every year. However, keeping tobacco away for good would be the best preventive measure to avoid oral cancer from affecting you.
Does smoking lead to gum diseases?
Although smoking cigarettes is known to increase the severity of already existing gum diseases, it could lead to gum inflammation in healthy individuals too. Smoking and chewing tobacco affect the soft tissues and underlying jawbone by hindering the optimum flow of blood to these regions. The cells in the gum tissues would be affected by this, which makes healing more difficult.
Smoking Discolors the Teeth
The outer layer of teeth is the enamel, which is a porous structure. When you smoke cigarettes, the tar and nicotine in the smoke can get deposited in these pores and make the teeth appear dull or yellowish. Although teeth whitening solutions can get rid of discoloration, removing these stains is more tricky and would require multiple sittings. Also, the severity of plaque and tartar accumulation is more in smokers than in non-smokers.
The Lesser Success Rate for Oral Surgeries
Oral surgeries, such as extractions, gum grafts, bone grafts, dental implantation, etc., would require a thorough screening procedure before commencing the treatment. The dentist will conduct multiple tests and take x-rays and scans for this purpose. Post the surgery, the soft tissues' healing capacity is quite a crucial factor in avoiding oral infections and other concerns. Smokers often face delayed healing, which can lead to unnecessary complications.
There is no doubt that smokers have a very unpleasant breath right after they smoke. The bigger issue is that smoking can result in chronic bad breath, which is quite challenging to treat. Smoking reduces saliva production in the mouth and makes the tongue dry, which further intensifies bad breath.
Smoking cigarettes is known to negatively affect several systems in our bodies. Although it may seem difficult to quit smoking at once, making positive progress by gradually cutting down the use of tobacco would surely help. Nicotine gum and certain medication could help in this regard. Please reach out to your healthcare provider for more guidance.
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