If you think that the damage caused by tobacco smoke in oral health is limited to stains on your teeth and bad breath, this article might surprise you. Smoking can cause the loss of teeth, and it is one of the leading causes of dental implant failure. Smokers not only have three times the risk of suffering from gum disease, but it also progresses more rapidly for those who smoke. Those who smoke are six times more likely to be diagnosed with cancer of the tongue, mouth, throat, and lips.
What Smoking Does
Here are some of the consequences of smoking:
- You lose your sense of taste because nicotine harms taste buds.
- 50% of adult smokers have gum (periodontal) diseases.
- Smoking reduces the effectiveness of treatments for gum diseases.
- Smoking decreases the flow of saliva, which causes bad breath.
- Smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers.
- Cigarette smokers are almost twice as likely to need root canal treatments as non-smokers.
- Smoking increases the risk of mouth pain, tooth decay, and gum retraction (which can cause tooth loss).
- Tobacco reduces the body’s ability to fight infections, such as infections in the mouth or gums.
Fight Bad Habits with Healthy Habits
Smoking is an unhealthy habit, but that’s no surprise. The compulsive consumption of nicotine is highly harmful to your oral health. Here are some ways to combat some of the damage of nicotine.
- Proper brushing is the best solution because smokers tend to accumulate more bacterial plaque. A healthy brushing technique will help eliminate extra plaque and bacteria.
- It is important to tell your dentist if you smoke tobacco or any harmful habits that may impair your oral health. This way, we can give you the best treatment options and preventive advice.
- Self-evaluate your oral health. Explore your mouth in order to observe any color changes in the gums, lips, palate, or tongue.
- Refrain from other bad habits. Smoking and drinking alcohol at the same time increases the percentage of gum disease, oral cancer, and failure of all dental treatments.
- Make regular visits to our office at least twice a year, since oral problems occur more frequently in a person who smokes.
Quitting your smoking addiction now can greatly reduce your chances of gum disease, cancer, and even respiratory failure. The good news is that we can help ensure your oral health is top-notch. You can call us today at 317-745-4400 for an appointment. We look forward to seeing your smile!
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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.