Smoking and Dental Health
When talking about creating healthy dental habits, people usually talk about frequent brushing and flossing. One area often ignored is smoking and its relation to oral health. Smoking is a risk factor for many chronic and terminal illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Smoking also has detrimental affects on oral and dental health.
Damages of Smoking
Smoking can damage your mouth, gums and teeth. The tar and nicotine in tobacco turn teeth yellow and brown over time. Whitening strips may help with the aesthetic appearance of your smile, but not the dental integrity of your tooth. Smokers are more likely to have bacteria in their mouth in the form of plaque. This causes gum infections that are unable to heal, since smoking reduces oxygen in the blood stream. Since there is more plaque, the gum disease progresses quicker than in individuals who do not smoke. Smoking can lead to gum disease and gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
Smoking is usually connected to lung and throat cancer, but did you know that smoking can also cause mouth cancer? Mouth cancer can result in the removal of the jaw. All forms of malignant cancer can cause death.
There is a special tooth paste designed to be more productive for smokers, but it may need to be used less frequently. During the smoking cessation period or if you choose to continue smoking, it is important to brush your teeth after each cigarette. Individuals who smoke need to regularly visit the dentist for prevention and early intervention to issues caused by smoking. Dr. Rubins Noel makes it a point to screen patients for oral cancer, if the patient so chooses. It is encouraged that all individuals who smoke come in for a yearly oral cancer screening.
All in all, it is best to stop smoking immediately. For help you can visit: NY SmokeFree- Smokers Quitline and Get Help Quitting
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Information adapted from:Oral Health Foundation