Many people are aware that smoking can cause cancers in the lung and throat. Yet there is less awareness on how smoking tobacco and other tobacco products can affect your oral health. These range from cosmetic issues to the more serious issues that can bring detrimental effects to your health and even to your quality of life. No wonder then that it’s not only your doctor but also your dentist who will encourage you to stop.
What Effects Will Smoking Have On My Oral Health?
One effect that’s clear to all is that tobacco smoke can easily stain your teeth. Tobacco smoke is full of nicotine and tar and these are the substances that make the teeth turn yellow. Those who have been heavily smoking for many years will even complain that their teeth are turning brown.
How Smoking Affects Your Gums & Teeth
Smoking is heavily linked to the development of gum disease. In fact, smokers are twice as likely to get gum disease than a non-smoker. The American Academy of Periodontology has identified smoking as the most significant risk factor in the development and progression of gum disease. This is because those who smoke are more likely to produce bacterial plaque which leads to gum disease. Smoking also creates problems when treating gum disease. Smokers have less oxygen in their bloodstream so their infected gums don’t heal. Gum disease in turn is the most common cause for tooth loss. It affects the part of the jawbone that anchors your teeth. As the bone deteriorates teeth become loose and eventually fall out. It has also been linked to complications in pregnancy and some other serious health conditions including, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
How Smoking is Linked With Cancer
Most people are aware that smoking can cause cancers in the lung and throat, but many people still don’t realise that it’s one of the main causes of mouth cancer. At least 75% of cancers of the mouth, tongue, throat, and lips are found in tobacco users. Every year thousands of people die from mouth cancer brought on by smoking.
Your Dentist Can Help
It’s highly recommended that smokers visit their dentist regularly. As teeth become stained more easily and plaque builds up faster you’ll also need to visit the hygienist on a more regular basis. When you visit the dentist they will check to see that your teeth and gums are healthy. They will be able to spot any lesions or any other irregularities that might have developed. If they detect anything then you may be referred to have a biopsy. During a biopsy a small tissue sample will be taken and evaluated to see if it’s cancerous. The surgeons at Benicia Oral Surgery and Implantology perform such biopsies. Their office is found in Benicia, CA providing service for all those in the North Bay area and surrounding communities. Book an appointment now.