Everyone is well aware of how smoking can affect your overall health. While the average number of people that smoke is declining, there are still many smoke-related deaths each year. Most people are not aware of how smoking negatively impacts your oral health, it goes beyond stained teeth and bad breath.
How Smoking Affects Your Oral Health
There are multiple ways that smoking can affect your oral health. If you’re a smoker, parts of this list will resonate with you – but most are alarming.
- Stained Teeth, Bad Breath, Loss of Smell & Taste: Smoking can affect your sense of smell and taste. While cigarette tar can stain your teeth, discolour your tongue and lead to halitosis.
- Weakened Immune System: Smoking can compromise your immune system, leading to weakened defences against oral diseases, which will lead to longer recovery from dental procedures.
- Gum and Periodontal Disease: According to the Centers for Disease Control, you are twice as likely to experience gum disease if you smoke.
- Tooth Decay & Loss: Smoking supports bacteria, plaque and tartar build-up which leads to cavities, tooth decay and tooth loss.
- Mouth Sore & Ulcers: These common health issues are more common for smokers’.
- Gum Recession: Smokers who develop gum disease can experience receding gums which expose the margins of their crowns. They may make oral hygiene more difficult and change the aesthetic appearance of their crowns.
- Oral Cancer: Exposure to harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco causes mutations in the healthy cells of your mouth and throat. This can increase your risk of developing oral cancer.
Steps To Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking takes hard work, commitment, willpower and accountability. There are plenty of resources to help you take the steps to quit. Here is a practical 5 step plan to stop:
- Prepare Yourself: Set a date to quit.
- Lean On Your Support System: Utilize your friends, family and healthcare professionals to help you move along.
- Distract Yourself: When urges arise, work on shifting your focus to something else (exercise, work on a hobby etc.)
- Use Medication If Necessary: Speak to your doctor about the benefits of using prescription or over-the-counter medications.
- Prepare For Setbacks: These things happen, accept it, work on it and learn to overcome slip-ups and don’t let it derail your progress.
While smoking is the #1 preventable cause of death and disease, the journey to quitting isn’t easy. With most oral care concerns, your dental health professionals are there to help you. With regular appointments, your dental team can create a program to help you start the quitting process. Book an appointment with the team at Goodna Dental to address your oral health concerns today.Leave a reply →