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Effects of Smoking on Your Oral Health

Posted by Legacy Dental Clinic Dec 21, 2022

Smoking causes many serious dental problems. It causes stains, bad breath, gum disease, oral cancer, and tooth loss. People who smoke are also more likely to have complications after dental procedures.

What is Smoking?

Also known as “nicotine use,” smoking is the most widespread form of tobacco use. Smokers inhale and exhale cigarette smoke through a cigarette rolled with tobacco leaves or dipped in liquid nicotine. The smoke is inhaled into the lungs and the nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream. It results in increased heart rate, blood pressure, and circulation; as well as an increased risk of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other serious health conditions.

Cigarette smoke is made up of more than 4,000 chemicals, including toxins and irritants that damage the lungs and cause cancer. Many of these chemicals are poisonous, such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, lead, cadmium, ammonia, and formaldehyde. Even secondhand smoke increases the risk of cancer in non-smokers. Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the health risks associated with smoking. They are also at risk of developing mouth sores, bad breath, stained teeth, gum disease, tooth loss, and increased risk of tooth decay.

If you are a smoker and want more information about how to quit, please contact Legacy Dental. We offer smoking cessation services and resources to help you kick the habit. We want you to be around to enjoy your life to its fullest potential, so let’s get you healthy and smiling again!

Benefits of Quitting | Smoking & Tobacco Use | CDC

Health Risks of Smoking

Tobacco and nicotine are harmful to teeth and gums, causing teeth to yellow and becoming susceptible to cavities. Additionally, smokeless tobacco can cause oral cancers in the mouth and throat. Smokers are more likely to develop gum disease that progresses into periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss. In severe cases of periodontitis, the gums can pull away from the teeth and form pockets or spaces for bacteria to thrive in between the teeth and the gumline. These spaces are known as periodontal pockets and they can bleed easily and be difficult to keep clean. Cigarette smoking can also increase the risk for heart attack by restricting the amount of oxygen that gets to the heart.

How Smoking Impacts Oral Health

Smoking can result in a number of issues for your oral health, including tooth discoloration and gum disease. However, perhaps the biggest issue with tobacco use is that it greatly increases your risk for oral cancer. In fact, approximately 75 percent of all cases of oral cancer are linked to the use of tobacco products. While the risk of oral cancer goes up the more you smoke, even occasional use can increase your risk. Some studies have linked use of chewing tobacco to increased risks of oral cancer as well.

The best way to prevent health problems from tobacco use is to stop using tobacco products altogether. If you currently smoke and need help quitting, talk to your doctor about options for smoking cessation. Also, be sure to visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups so that any issues are caught early and treated before they get worse.

If you’ve noticed any white or red spots on your gums, it’s important to make an appointment with your dentist right away. Early diagnosis can help increase the chance of successful treatment. When you come in for an appointment, your doctor will check your teeth and look for any evidence of suspicious lesions, which could indicate cancer. If you do have signs of oral cancer, your doctor will refer you to an oral surgeon for further evaluation and to discuss your treatment options. This may include surgery to remove tumors and other cancerous cells as well as reconstructive surgery to rebuild areas of the mouth that were affected. Be sure to follow all recommended treatments in order to get the best results.

By following these helpful tips you can help ensure the health and safety of your smile for years to come.

To schedule an appointment with our office, call 825-467-8888 today. We hope you’ll make us your regular dental care provider!

Legacy Dental Clinic
4224 Gateway Blvd NW
Edmonton, AB T6J 7K1

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