“Smoking is bad for your health” is often repeated in advertisements, commercials, and on billboards. Many of us are aware of the respiratory problems that can result from smoking and tobacco use. However, your respiratory health is not the only thing affected by these habits. Smoking affects the whole body, from the circulatory system to the skin. Cigarettes and tobacco cause other negative damage to the mouth — not just bad breath.
Learn more about how smoking affects everyone’s oral health:
1. Tooth discolouration – Cigarette smoke is enough to cause walls and windows to stain, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it darkens and makes teeth brown or yellow. Smokers need teeth whitening more often than nonsmokers.
2. Gum disease – Smokers are more prone to gum disease, compared to non-smokers. Smoking increases plaque and bacteria that inhabit the surface of the teeth. These bacteria move into gums (and the bloodstream) and destroy the tissue surrounding teeth. Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss.
3. Delayed healing process – Some believe that it is okay to smoke after a tooth extraction (or any kind of oral surgery). It is not. Smoking will delay the healing process and can cause more damage. Bacteria multiplies faster among smokers. Try to curb your habit after having work done on your mouth, and make plans to quit.
4. Dulled taste buds. Long-term smoking habits dull the taste buds. The chemicals in cigarettes and tobaccos can damage our ability to taste food and liquids, resulting in bland and less intense flavours in your meals.
5. Tooth decay. Cigars, cigarettes, and tobacco all harm teeth. They contain thousands of chemicals that attack and break down the protective enamel on the outside of a tooth. These chemicals also irritate gum tissues, causing gums to pull away from teeth, making you more susceptible to tooth decay.
6. Bad breath. People who smoke often have a specific smell. That odour represents the effects the chemicals of cigarettes and tobacco as they linger in the mouth and lungs for hours. The negative results don’t stop with “smoker’s breath;” tobacco can cause chronic bad breath by drying out the palate. The repeated inhalation of chemicals can leave a dry environment filled with bacteria.
7. Tongue. Tongue cancer is a common type of oral cancer. Cigarettes and tobacco contain cancer-causing ingredients and may negatively affect your tongue.
Smoking is a difficult habit to quit. If you think about its negative effects on your oral health and body, it’s definitely worth it to make a big life change. With the proper help and support, you can do it.
At Cosmo Dental Centre in London, we can help you with dental problems caused by smoking. Give us a visit at 373 Clarke Road (London, Ontario N5W 5G4).