Smoking and Oral Health – the real deal for smokers.

 

Most people are now aware that smoking is bad for their health. It can cause many different medical problems and, in some cases, fatal diseases. However, surprisingly many people don’t realise the damage that smoking can do to their mouth, gums and teeth.

Smoking can lead to bad breath, tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss, and mouth cancer.

Here we explore some FAQ on smoking and oral health.

 

What causes my teeth to stain?

The nicotine and tar in tobacco cause teeth to stain over time, with the onset happening quite early on. Teeth will begin to collect a yellow tinge, that will deepen to a rusty brown after years of smoking.

How will smoking affect my gums and teeth?

The nicotine in cigarettes reduces the production of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is an imperative for keeping the teeth and gums moist and clean.  Nicotine also oppresses the flow of blood and oxygen to the gums which can result in gum disease. Smoking can cause people to develop more dental plaque than non-smokers, this can aggravate gum disease. Gum disease is still the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.

How is smoking linked with cancer?

Most people know that smoking can cause lung and throat cancer, but many people still don’t know that it is one of the main causes of mouth cancer too. Every year thousands of people die from mouth cancer brought on by smoking.

I have Smoker’s Breath – will a mouthwash help?

Smokers find they are more likely to have bad breath than non-smokers. While Fresh-breath products such as mouthwashes may help to disguise the problem in the short term, it isn’t a cure, it won’t disguise the smell of smoke from your clothes either!

Should I visit my dentist more often if I smoke?

It is important to maintain your regular visits to your dental team to ensure that any problems are detected early and rectified before they become a real issue. At each appointment with us, your dentist will perform a Cancer screening.

What can my dentist do for me?

Your dentist will carry out an Active Maintenance procedure to make sure that your teeth and gums and oral cavity are healthy. Your dentist will also examine your cheeks, tongue and throat for any signs of other conditions that may need more investigation. If you are looking at quitting smoking you can talk to your dentist or your GP about support organisations to help you reach your goals.

Meanwhile, stay healthy and happy, see you dentist regularly to stay on top of your oral health and stay aware of your consumption and triggers. Remember – Your dentist is here to help.