It is a known fact that smoking kills millions of people over the world. The ill effects of smoking are prominent in almost all parts of the body and even the oral health is not spared from this. Smoking is not just about causing lung cancer and even if you escape that, chances are that you would not get away from the oral health issues. So here is all you might want to know about the relationship between smoking and bad oral health. We hope this knowledge will be one more reason to quit the habit of smoking for good and stay clear of tooth loss and cavity.
Teeth problems caused by smoking
How many times have you seen a smoker scramble for his pack of mints after having a smoke? They have every reason to do so because smokers usually are prone to a very bad breath. One of the reasons is the bad smell of tobacco in general. The other important cause is that smoking dries out your mouth. This makes you susceptible to gum infections which can cause a foul smell in your mouth. The sinuses can also be irritated through smoking which would cause a post nasal drip, again resulting in bad breath conditions.
If you had the question do cigarettes affect teeth, this will answer your doubts. You already knew how cigarette smoking leads to poor gum health your mouth. It also promotes a lot of excess buildup of plaque. All these combine together to give rise to the situation where tooth decay is a possibility. Cavities are common phenomenon for a smoker and in comparison to non-smoker he is at a much higher risk of developing cavities.
It is not just about tooth loss and cavity but smoking also leads to a number of gum diseases. These are caused due to a build of plaque and bacteria which is promoted by the habit of smoking. It also reduces the oxygen amounts in the blood. So when the gums are actually affected it takes a very long time to heal. Smoker’s gums are not the healthiest when it comes to oral hygiene.
This is probably the most dangerous instance in the relationship between smoking and bad oral health. Smoking is one of the largest causes of cancer in the world and oral cancer too is a possibility. Smokers are at a much higher risk of developing oral cancer during the process. While there is treatment if apprehended in the initial stages, the trouble surely is not worth taking. So make this another concrete reason to quit this killer habit. Another danger from oral cancer is that there are many cases when the identification is so late that the cancer is beyond control. Is it really worth taking all the risk?
This is probably a visual example of how there is a clear relationship between smoking and bad oral health. A smoker almost always suffers from the condition of stained teeth. Nicotine which is present in cigarettes causes patches to appear on the teeth and making them appear stained. With the passage of time these grow prominent and then seep into the cracks and gaps. After this you would have very little chance to get back to the earlier state because it gained certain permanence about it.
Taste and smell is altered:
The sensations of taste take hit when one indulges in smoking for a significant amount of time. These results in the damage of the taste buds and then individuals are prone to have a requirement for much larger quantities of sugar or salt being added to their food. This can easily avoided by being a bit careful yourself and staying away from the bad habit.
This is a condition where white patches are visible inside the mouth and these patches simply refuse to go. Long time smokers usually are faced with this problem of leukoplakia and the only possible solution is to kick the butt.
The same tooth extraction that heals in a week for normal people will take a lot more time for someone who smokes. The healing powers hit an all time low with the habit of smoking and so any form of healing becomes a long process.
The salivary glands located at the top of the mouth often end up inflamed for people with a regular habit of smoking.
Apart from tooth loss and cavity, smokers also have to deal with excessive build up of plaque in their mouths and there is no such cure for this.
How smokers can improve oral health:
By now you have realized that there is a strong relationship between smoking and bad oral health. The easiest relief from all of this is of course quitting the habit of smoking but we do realize that it might be easier said than done. So we will tell you about some habits that you can follow to better your oral health.
- Frequent brushing and flossing: Even people who do not smoke need to do these but as a smoker one has to do these a lot more than usual. Cleanliness of the mouth should be at its peak.
- Frequent visits to dentists: This too has to be more than the non smoker because of the kind of risks and damage you are exposed to from smoking.
- Be observant: Notice any sore that does not heal in two weeks. Keep an eye out for spots bumps or lumps. Your observation can help identify bigger problems at early stages.
Smoking not only harms your overall health but also leads to other oral health issues like smoker’s gums. So if you were wondering all these years do cigarettes affect teeth, you probably got your answer. Now all you need to do is quit the habit and make the world a tobacco free space. You would be doing a world of good for your health if you actually do so.