Smoking and cigarettes have a detrimental effect on your oral and dental health. If you’re a smoker and need another reason to quit, your smile is one to add to the list.
On the superficial level, smoking will make your teeth stained and dark. This leaves your pearly whites not so white anymore.
Looking deeper, cigarette smoke can cause a lot of damage to not only your teeth, but also the skin inside your mouth.
Smoking reduces the blood supply to your teeth, gums and skin inside your mouth. This significantly reduces your ability to heal and respond against trauma.
Smoking causes gum infection
Worse than making your smile dull and discoloured, smoking makes your gums twice as susceptible to infection.
Gum infections cause inflammation around the tooth and weakens the bone supporting your teeth. A severe gum infection will cause the teeth to fall out as there is literally not enough bone to hold them in your mouth!
Smoking weakens gums and the immune system, which lowers resistance against infection and impairs healing.
In other words, smoking makes it hard for your body to fight off gum infection. Once your gums are damaged, it takes longer for smokers to heal from dental treatment.
Unfortunately, the risk is dose dependent. This means that:
- Smokers have twice the risk of gum disease compared to non-smokers
- The more you smoke, the greater your risk for gum infection
- The longer you smoke, the greater your risk for gum infection
- Treatments for gum infections may not work as well for people who smoke
If you’re concerned about smoking and your dental health, get in contact with Whitehorse Dental for more helpful information.
Smoking increases likelihood of oral cancer
Smokers are 3 times at risk of developing oral cancer.
The greatest risk factor for mouth, nose and throat cancers is smoking. Over 80% of these cancers occur in people who smoke.
Again, this risk is dose dependent and increases with the more cigarettes and the longer period of time you smoke.
Mouth cancer is also one of the more aggressive types of cancers.
Because of this risk, at every visit to Whitehorse Dental we complete an oral cancer check, to make sure that the skin inside your mouth is healthy.
What you can do to improve your dental health
We highly encourage people who smoke to practice preventative dental care.
Even if it seems that your teeth are fine, it is hard to see dental problems until they are severe.
We want to avoid this as once the damage is done, treatment may not be effective as smoking inhibits the body’s ability to heal.
Also due to the high risk of oral cancer, we’d love to see you regularly for check ups to ensure a healthy mouth.
So stay on top of your dental health routine by booking an appointment online with Whitehorse Dental in Blackburn today.