As we all know smoking has many different effects on your body. But what people don’t realise is how much smoking contributes to your dental problems.
• Stained teeth: Smoking tobacco products, including cigarettes and cigars, can cause severe teeth discolouration, leading to yellow or brown stains on the teeth. This discolouration is challenging to remove through regular brushing alone.
• Bad breath: Smoking contributes to persistent bad breath (halitosis) and can cause dry mouth (xerostomia), reducing saliva production. Saliva plays a vital role in maintaining oral health by neutralizing acids, washing away bacteria, and aiding in digestion.
• Gum disease: Smoking is a significant risk factor for gum disease. It impairs blood flow to the gums, reduces the ability of the gums to heal, and weakens the immune system, making smokers more susceptible to gum infections. Gum disease can lead to symptoms like red, swollen, and bleeding gums, as well as eventual tooth loss if left untreated.
• Gum inflammation
• Tooth loss
• Oral Cancer
There are many dental hygiene tips for smokers that help your oral hygiene if you are a smoker. Such as:
• Buy toothpaste & other oral cleaning products specifically for smokers – it is much stronger at clearing plaque.
• Have regular check-ups with your dentist to make sure that if there are any oral problems they can be diagnosed as soon as possible.
• Maintain your own hygiene plan and make sure you are regularly brushing, flossing and using a tongue cleaner.
• Regularly give yourself an oral cancer examination.
Oral Cancer Symptoms:
• Lumps on the lips, gums and inside the mouth
• White or red patch in the mouth
• Bleeding in the mouth
• Numbness or pain in the mouth, neck or face
• Sore throat
• Loss of teeth
However, no matter how many products you use your mouth is still exposed to the harmful substances from cigarettes if you continue to smoke. To keep your mouth healthy, the best thing to do is to quit smoking! Most dentists are now trained in helping you to quit smoking successfully.
People who smoke usually have a lot of dental problems which can cause a strain on dentists, which is why we like helping people quit smoking and gain a healthier lifestyle.
If you are willing to quit there are many different ways of doing so. To start you need to set a date to stop, this must be achievable! There is no point in setting the date as tomorrow. Secondly, seek help from a doctor or dentist; they have all the information needed to get you on your way to quitting for good.
The longer you have been a smoker the more problems are likely to arise in the near future. Smokers are more likely to have oral health problems and have a greater need for root canals, loss of teeth and damage to tooth enamel.
When you smoke, you produce more bacterial plaque in your mouth. The nicotine in a cigarette causes a reduction in the amount of oxygen to the tissue in your mouth. It also tightens blood vessels which impacts the length of time it takes to diagnose gum disease; the most common diagnostic for gum disease is bleeding gums, however, due to the nicotine, your gums are less likely to bleed, meaning if you do have gum disease it will be harder for both yourself and the dentist to find out. Bleeding gums are usually the tip-off for dentists to diagnose gum disease, the harder it is to spot the more it may worsen over time.
Since vaping and e-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco they may sound like healthy alternatives. However, they are also harmful as their use causes dry mouth, inflammation and oral microbiome imbalance. Moreover, they aren’t well-researched, so they may have other potential risks for oral health.
First of all, go and visit your dentist. A Dentist will have the knowledge and plan for you to quit easily. You can have white teeth, fresh breath and a healthier mouth in no time at all with the help of a dentist’s advice. It is never too late to quit smoking and start a healthier lifestyle so get in touch with Thurmaston Dental today.
Smokers are advised to see their dentist 3-4 times a year.Back to Blog