The harmful effects of smoking on general health are well known: high risk of developing lung cancer, respiratory problems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). But you may not know how tobacco affects your oral health and what makes it difficult to treat.
How tobacco affects oral health
We are used to relating smoking to respiratory problems. However, there is a lot of damage to oral health caused by smoking.
- Teeth wear faster. Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, and raw tobacco leaves used as wrappers for cigars contain small particles that are very abrasive to the teeth. In addition, when mixed with saliva, a paste is created that wears down teeth over time.
- Fewer dental treatment options. Damage to the mouth from smoking leads to reduced blood flow, increased bacteria and inflammation, among other complications. These problems can lead to tooth loss and also make it difficult to replace lost teeth. For example, implants and fixed bridges may not be a viable option for repairing damage because the surrounding teeth may have been weakened by infection or decay and may not be strong enough to withstand these procedures.
- Gum disease is more difficult to treat. Tobacco reduces the body's ability to fight infection. If you are a smoker and undergo treatment for various gum diseases, it may be much more difficult to deal with the problem. Smoking also reduces the diameter of blood vessels, decreases the blood supply, and slows the healing of gum tissue after oral surgery or injury.
- More likely to get sick. Tobacco reduces the body's ability to fight infection, including in the mouth and gums. A simple infection can lead to something much worse, such as sepsis (a widespread infection caused by the presence of pathogenic microorganisms or their toxins in the blood).
- Increased risk of trouble. Smokers are twice as likely to develop gum disease as nonsmokers.
Other possible impacts of smoking on oral health
Tobacco in oral health is, without a doubt, a bad habit that contributes to diminish our quality of life. For many people bad breath is just the beginning of a list of oral problems.
Among the possible impacts of tobacco on oral health are the following:
- Stained teeth and tongue.
- Decreased sense of taste and smell.
- Slow healing after a tooth extraction or other surgery
- Difficulties in correcting aesthetic dental problems.
- Gum disease.
- Oral cancer.
Quitting smoking is the only way to reduce the risk of these and other health problems associated with smoking. The addictive quality of nicotine found in cigarettes can make this especially difficult.
However, to overcome this obstacle, it is important to have a strategic plan and a support network. These people will help the smoker meet his or her goal of quitting.
Write down your reasons for quitting. Exercise, chew sugarless gum, and stay busy. These tips can help you stay away from tobacco.
Consult your dentist about which products might help you in your effort to kick this addiction. Keeping in mind the impact of tobacco on your oral health can be a great motivator.
And never forget to take care of your oral health with more attention. You must use a good brush, a paste with fluorideand a Mouthwash suitable one like the ones we offer you from Kin to help you in your fight against tobacco.