We all know that smoking has numerous adverse health effects. Smoking is a risk factor for a variety of life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, lung cancer, and oral cancer.
However, it also negatively affects oral health. Most of us know that cigarettes cause yellow or brown stained teeth, but there are other serious impacts on oral health to consider.
Smoking Effects On Your Oral health:
Increased oral cancer risk: Aside from contributing to other cancers of the body, a smoker has a five to ten time greater risk of developing oral cancer when compared to a non-smoker. This risk becomes even higher when regular alcohol use is a factor.
Leukoplakia: Regular cigarette use may lead to leukoplakia which are thick white patches that occur on the cheeks or gums. This is a precancerous condition in some cases.
Increased periodontal disease risk: Smoking accelerates the breakdown of the supporting bone and oral tissues in the mouth. If left untreated, tooth loss will occur.
Poor Circulation: Poor or weak blood flow is associated with smoking. This can lead to poor healing and lower immunity to certain bacteria.
Nicotine Stomatitis: The chemicals in cigarettes, along with the heat produced by smoking eventually cause inflammation of the saliva glands located on the roof of the mouth.
Dry Mouth: Smoking also causes Xerostomia or dry mouth. Having a consistently dry mouth increases the risk of developing cavities.
Increased Staining: Teeth become stained over time due to our diet, but smoking accelerates the rate of tooth discolouration. What’s more, once staining is present on the teeth, its rough surface makes it easier for plaque or tartar build-up to stick to.
Bad Breath: Halitosis, or bad breath is another effect of cigarettes. Paired with dry mouth symptoms, it can be difficult to have a mouth that feels fresh.
Altered Taste: Many smokers report having reduced taste or altered taste when eating foods.
Do you have any of the symptoms mentioned above? Contact us to help you get your oral health back on track. Call us now: (905) 856-2535
Thinking About Quitting?
Quitting smoking can be challenging for most people, so it is important to use as many resources as you can to increase your chances.
- Consider counseling to help you break the habit.
- Nicotine replacement options such as the patch, lozenges or gum improve your chances of quitting.
- Talk to your healthcare professional. They can suggest strategies to help you quit, along with prescribing medications to help with quitting.
- Be accountable by telling your friends and family that you plan on quitting smoking by a certain day.
- Call the smoker’s toll-free hotline in Canada at 1-866-366-3667
Once you quit smoking, your body starts to get healthier almost right away. Within twenty-four hours, your risk of a heart attack begins to reduce. After a prolonged time of being smoke-free, the risk of other conditions such as cancer, lung disease, and heart disease begin to decrease as well.
Take control of your oral health, and overall health today by pledging to quit smoking.