Smoking has a substantial impact on your oral health. If you smoke regularly, it is important to be aware of the ways in which smoking impacts your oral health, so you can take the steps to offset these negative effects. However, quitting smoking will always be the best approach when it comes to improving your health, but there are still methods for protecting your teeth if you continue to smoke. At Bismarck Advanced Dental Implants, we are dedicated to providing you with the services that you need to protect the health of your teeth.
Increased Risk of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is one of the most serious oral health concerns. It is most common in smokers and tobacco users. Experts estimate that about 90% of oral cancer victims are tobacco users. The risk of oral cancer increases when someone both smokes and drinks alcohol regularly. If you smoke or otherwise use tobacco, it is incredibly important to limit your alcohol consumption. Signs of oral cancer include ulcers in the mouths or on the lips, red or white patches, and swelling. Ulcers that last longer than 10 days may be very serious. It is incredibly important to schedule a dental visit when you notice any of these signs.
Periodontal disease is also commonly known as gum disease. Smoking frequently results in the development of periodontal disease. This disease can cause destruction to the bone that surrounds the teeth, which can eventually cause teeth to become lost. The more frequently you smoke, the more intense the periodontal disease will likely be. There are many signs that can help you to detect periodontal disease before it is allowed to escalate to extreme proportions. During these times, it is important to act quickly to prevent serious issues.
The gums often provide the best indication of the presence of periodontal disease. If they are red, tender, bleeding, swollen, or have pus discharge, you may have periodontal disease. In addition, periodontal disease can cause gums to become loose, which can also cause the teeth to become loose. This leads to gaps in the teeth. Bad breath, or halitosis, is also often present with periodontal disease.
Helping your Teeth Stay Healthy
Quitting smoking is the ideal way to prevent smoking from causing damage to your teeth. However, there are many additional ways that you can help your teeth stay healthy or minimize the damage caused by smoking. It is incredibly important to visit your dentist regularly. This will allow them to find possible oral health issues in the early stages. It is vital to clean your teeth and gums thoroughly twice daily, using fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste can go a long way toward strengthening and protecting the teeth. Stay hydrated to prevent limited saliva production from damaging the health of your teeth.
How Smoking Impacts your Oral Health
Smoking leads to the increased risk of many different oral health issues, but it is important to note the ways in which smoking directly impacts your teeth. The chemicals that cigarettes are comprised of often inhibit the production of saliva within the mouth. Saliva production is important to flush out bacteria and food particles from the teeth. When this production isn’t present or effective, more plaque is able to form on the teeth. This leads to additional problems, as tartar can form and be far more difficult to rectify. Smoking also interferes with how the blood circulates in the mouth, which slows down healing processes.
Stained Teeth and Impaired Healing
When someone smokes regularly, it is extremely common for their teeth to begin showing signs of staining. Tar and nicotine are present in tobacco products. These substances cause the teeth to yellow, which can cause cosmetic concerns. When teeth become stained, it can be tempting to undertake DIY whitening procedures, which can be damaging to the health of the teeth. Additionally, smoking impacts the circulation of the blood. This results in difficulty healing, which often results in complications following oral procedures, such as tooth extraction or oral surgery.
Dry socket can be caused by a combination of slower healing capabilities and a dry mouth, which are both side effects of smoking. Dry socket is incredibly painful and can lead to further health complications. It is important to consult with your dentist immediately if you develop dry socket following a dental health procedure.
Smokeless Tobacco Products
Many people think that switching to smokeless tobacco products will help to protect their health. While these products might be better for the lungs, they still contain the same chemicals that are present in cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco products still cause the damage to the teeth that is caused by smoking cigarettes.
Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Quitting smoking substantially benefits the health of the body and the teeth. When you quit smoking, you will notice that it is much easier to breathe. Quitting smoking helps improve the breath. It also stops staining from escalating. When you stop smoking, you will reduce your risk of developing several serious diseases. Quitting smoking will help to save significant amounts of money on both tobacco products and medical expenses.
How to Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking isn’t an easy process. There are many tools and strategies that have been designed to help people quit smoking in order to protect their health. When you are struggling with quitting smoking, it can be incredibly beneficial to discuss strategies with your doctor. There are certain medications and patches that can help to reduce cravings to make the process somewhat easier. Multiple other strategies are available, such as support groups, acupuncture, and hypnosis.
Ultimately, quitting smoking is the best decision that you can make to protect your health and your teeth. If you continue to smoke regularly, it is possible that you will have to replace teeth after smoking causes the loss of teeth. Here at Bismarck Advanced Dental Implants, we strive to keep your teeth healthy and in the best possible condition. To protect your teeth from damage, contact our experts today!