Smoking and Oral Health

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013, 7:19 pm

Smoking has a direct impact on oral health. Smokers all learn to live with the yellow teeth and bad breath – but those are just signs that more serious damage is being done.

Smoking interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells leaving smokers more susceptible to infections, like periodontal disease. Cigarettes are not the only smoking product that causes oral health problems. Pipes and cigars also increase the risk for gum disease and tooth loss. Users are also are more likely to experience bone loss in the jaw.

Oral cancer rates are on the rise. Smokers are still more likely than non-smokers to develop oral cancers – even if they don’t inhale! About 90% of people with cancer of the mouth, lips, tongue and throat use tobacco. Smokers are six times more likely to develop these cancers.

Smoking interferes with the healing process which means that smokers that lose teeth are going to take much longer to heal. Dental implant procedures done on smokers have a lower success rate than for non-smokers.

Are the new e-cigarettes any safer for your oral health? These devices supply nicotine to the body in vapor form and claim to be healthier than smoking. Because they are so new there really isn’t any good research on their effects on oral health. The vapor from these devices has been shown to contain lots of different chemical compounds, some carcinogenic. Common sense says that anytime you are bathing your oral cavity in chemicals it can’t be good for your gums and teeth.

The best maintain good oral health if you smoke? Quit. Talk to your doctor about quitting and ask about your options. There are nicotine patches and gums, and medications that can help quell the cravings. Some people find help through support groups or classes.

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your next visit.


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Category: gum disease, oral health

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