We all love the smoke of burning leaves and crackling barbecue, but not all smokes are necessarily good. Any form of tobacco, like cigarettes or e-cigarettes, can harm your whole body, including your oral health. There are so many smoke-related deaths each year, that is really scary. About one in every five adults in the USA is a smoker, and there are more than 480,000 cigarette smoke-related deaths yearly. Smoking can harm your mind and body; not many people realise it can adversely affect your mouth, teeth, and gums. Visiting a reliable dental clinic like Burbank Dental Lab can tell you how smoking goes beyond stained teeth and bad breath. From chronic bad breath and loss of teeth to receding gums and stained teeth, many signs of tobacco use can indicate bad oral health. Let us understand a few effects of smoking on oral health.
A bacterial infection of the gum tissue is known as gum disease. Smoking also has a significant impact and contributes to the development of plaque and tartar on the teeth. Gum disease is twice as likely to affect smokers. This is because nicotine causes your blood vessels to constrict, and decreased blood flow makes it harder for your gum tissue to fight infections. Additionally, because of the difficulty your gums have in recovering from a wound due to the decreased blood flow, gum disease treatments may not be as effective.
Tobacco products include chemicals that alter saliva flow, oral bacteria can get attached easily to teeth and gums. Plaque, a bacteria-filled murky substance, might form on teeth and along the gum line. It may become tartar, also known as calculus, which is so difficult to remove that it has to be done by a professional dental cleaning if it is not removed every day. People who smoke have a three to six times higher risk of developing gum disease or periodontal disease, which may destroy tooth roots and result in tooth loss.
Cancers that develop on the tongue, gums, or other tissues within the mouth are referred to as oral cancers. This form of cancer is about six times more likely to occur in smokers than in non-smokers. This is due to the more than 70 carcinogens in cigarette smoke, including formaldehyde and arsenic. Oral cancers are six times more likely to occur in smokers than in non-smokers. When you smoke, these carcinogens may harm the DNA of the cells in your mouth, which can cause the damaged cells to proliferate uncontrollably and develop into tumours.
Smoking interferes with gum tissue’s ability to function normally by creating infections and reducing blood circulation. Additionally, it hinders the recovery process after oral surgery for gum disease therapy, tooth extraction, or dental implants. The healing process becomes challenging as a result. Smokers may find that their gums often bleed when they brush or floss.
Another oral health issue smokers may experience is dry mouth. The tissues within your mouth may burn if you breathe in smoke. It is possible for the salivary glands to get damaged and clogged, which will result in a dry mouth from a lack of saliva. A dry mouth may cause different diseases, such as mouth sores, oral fungus infections, and gum disease, apart from being painful.
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According to the ADA, smoking may make you more likely to get gum recession. When your gums recede, the roots of your teeth become visible because the gums have moved away from them. While gum recession may give the appearance that your teeth are longer, this problem goes beyond aesthetics. Since exposed tooth roots are very sensitive, eating or drinking may cause severe discomfort.
Both vaping and cigarette smoking have the same adverse effects on oral health. Whether you are an occasional smoker or a chain one, the sooner you understand the harmful effects of smoking, the easier and better it would be for you to stay away from serious oral health issues. Sometimes these issues are stark indications of something grave like oral cancer. If you are a smoker or know someone who smokes, understand the damage it is doing to your overall health and try to quit this bad habit. It is not a matter of how long it will take the smoking habit to affect your oral health but when. Always remember that dental professionals are there to help you with most of your oral health concerns, and they can even create a program for you to start your quitting process. So choose health over smoking every day.