The Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

The negative effects of smoking on the body are a hot topic in today’s society. You may already be aware of what smoking can do to your lungs and heart, but have you considered the effects it may be having on your mouth and teeth?

Smoking is one of the leading contributors to dental problems and other oral issues. Smiles are a huge confidence factor for many individuals, and you should not let yours suffer. We are exploring the various effects that smoking has on your oral health.

 

What Smoking Does to Your Mouth

 Although you may not have thought about it, smoking has a serious effect on your mouth. The smoke travels through your mouth to reach your lungs, and that smoke causes significant damage along the way.

 You may notice that smoking has caused: 

  • Bad breath
  • Stains on your teeth
  • Reduced sense of taste
  • Sensitive gums

 However, these small issues are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the damaging effects of smoking on your oral health. These could be symptoms of much bigger problems. If you do start to notice any of these problems, smoker or not, visit us a Dentrix Dental Care and we will be able to advise you. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry.

 

Gum Disease

Smoking is heavily associated with gum disease. There are a few forms of gum disease. They are treatable but both are unpleasant and it’s better to avoid them.

There are a few signs to look out for that could indicate you have gum disease: 

  • Tender, swollen or bleeding gums
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth 

Go straight to a dentist if you notice any of these symptoms. You could be diagnosed with either gingivitis or periodontitis.

Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease that if left untreated develops into periodontitis.

Periodontitis affects the bones and tissues that support the teeth are affected. In rare cases, if someone ignores their oral health for too long a disease called Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG) can develop.

If you think you might be suffering from some kind of oral disease, book an appointment with us here at Dentrix. We will give your teeth and gums a deep clean, assess the situation and advise you on the course of treatment to take. The deep cleaning may involve scaling, where the tartar is scraped off the teeth both above and below the gum line. Root planing may also occur which is where the rough surfaces of the roots of your teeth are smoothed to encourage the gums to reattach to your tooth.

 

Cancer

Oral cancer is a severe form of cancer. Tumors develop in the mouth on places like the tongue, cheeks or roof of the mouth. They may also develop on the gums or the lips.

 There are a few different types of oral cancer with the most common one being Squamous Cell Carcinoma. 9 out of 10 cases of oral cancer are Squamous Cell Carcinoma. By smoking, you greatly increase your chances of developing this or any of the other less common types of mouth cancer – especially if you smoke heavily. If you start to notice symptoms such as:

  • Unexplained tooth loss
  • Unexplained lumps in the mouth or on the neck that don’t go away
  • Mouth ulcers that don’t heal in a few weeks

 …then book an appointment with your GP. Regular visits to the dentist will spot the early signs of oral cancer. Make sure to book a dentist visit every six months.

 

 Conclusion

We here at Dentrix take your oral health seriously. You should look at your oral health like you would your physical or mental health. Taking care will enable you to avoid nasty diseases and painful treatments. If the worst should happen and your mouth starts to suffer, we will work with you to plan the best to treat the problems and get your smile back to as good as it possibly can be.

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