Smoking and How It Affects Your Oral Health
If you smoke then you are probably well aware of the general health risks posed by this habit, but not so many people are aware of the way it can affect oral health other than causing bad breath. In fact smoking is incredibly bad for your oral health and put you at risk of developing a number of different and potentially very serious conditions.
Potential Problems Can Be Caused by Smoking
Problems that can be caused by smoking include tooth discolouration smokers are more likely to have an increased build-up of plaque and tartar over their teeth. This is because nicotine makes it easier for plaque and tartar to adhere to tooth surfaces. Smokers are also more at risk of losing bone in their jaw and there is an increased risk of developing a condition called leukoplakia which causes white patches inside the mouth. Smokers are more likely to develop gum disease which is a major cause of tooth loss and this habit also slows down healing after any oral surgery. This in turn can lead to a much lower success rate for any dental implants in Downham Market. Smokers are also more at risk of developing oral cancer.
Gum Disease and Smoking
Gum disease is a major problem and many people will develop this condition regardless of whether or not they smoke. However smoking does seem to increase the risk of gum disease, particularly because it interferes with the function of gum tissue cells, increasing the chances of gum infections while slowing down the flow of blood to the gums. This means the body is less able to transport nutrients to help repair damaged gum tissue and it is slower to transport toxins away from the gums.
Oral Cancer and Smoking
Oral cancer is a disease that is unfortunately becoming more common and around 90% of people with this type of cancer use tobacco and the risk of developing this condition increases according to how long you have smoked or chewed tobacco and the amount you use. It’s been found that smokers are up to 6 times more likely than non-smokers to develop oral cancer and leukoplakia can be an early indication of cell changes in the mouth.
How We Can Help You
If you are a smoker then our dentist at Downham Market can help you. We can offer advice on quitting this habit and if this isn’t an option then we can work with you to help protect your oral health as much as possible. We can devise a personalised treatment plan to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. This is likely to include regular check-ups and cleanings to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth which in turn will reduce your risk of gum disease. We can also give you advice on dental care at home. Your regular check-ups will also include a screening for oral cancer as our Downham Market dentist will carefully examine all the tissues inside your mouth for any signs that something is wrong. This check is particularly important as oral cancer has a much better prognosis when diagnosed early on.
If you would like some support on quitting smoking or if you simply need a check-up, then please contact Downham Market Dental Care on 01366 382265.