There are many dangers associated with smoking and other tobacco products. You have likely heard how smoking increases the risk of cancers to the lungs and throat. There are, however, also dangers associated with your oral health.
If you are trying to quit smoking then you should be aware of the effect that smoking has on your oral health so that you can take the extra precautions needed until you succeed.
If you’re not trying to quit smoking then maybe learning about these extra dangers will motivate you to consider giving up. Taking these precautions results in better health care and quality of life.
What Effects Will Smoking Have On My Oral Health?
Have you noticed your teeth turning yellow? This is due to the staining effects that tobacco products have on your teeth. Tar and nicotine, two of the substances found in tobacco, are the reasons why this happens.
Bad breath is an unpleasant consequence of smoking. As smoke particles enter the mouth they cling to the surfaces and mix with bacteria. As the bacteria multiply the smell in your mouth increases. It is very difficult to get rid of this smell. Even brushing your teeth doesn’t fully remove the smell.
The American Academy of Periodontology found that tobacco use is the greatest risk factor in the development and progression of periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease. It can actually raise your chances of developing gum disease as high as six times.
The main reason for this is that smoking increases plaque levels. Plaque causes an infection response in the gum line. Smoking will also slow down healing gums because of the way smoke inhibits oxygen levels.
A higher prevalence of gum disease increases the chance of losing your teeth. The disease around the gums and teeth will actually cause the supporting bone to deteriorate. Your teeth can then become loose or fall out. Tooth loss leads to other dental problems such as shifting teeth and bone loss in the jaw bone.
Smoking is Linked With Oral Cancer
Smoking and smokeless tobacco have proven to significantly increase the risk of developing cancer in the mouth. As high as 75% of all the oral cancers found with those that use tobacco. Sadly, thousands of people die every year from oral cancer caused by smoking. These statistics are certainly food for thought when for those thinking to quit smoking or smokeless tobacco.
The Importance of Dental Visits
Visiting the dentist more frequently is important for those that use tobacco products. As your oral health is at a higher risk, checks, as well as dental cleaning, become more important. During each visit, your dentist will check that your teeth and gum tissue are healthy.
Because of the high risk of cancers, he will look for irregularities in the soft tissue in your mouth. If any is found then you may be referred to for a biopsy. It is a minor procedure where a small tissue sample is taken for examination.