Smoking and Oral Health
Will you be one of the thousands of people using this Stoptober as the push you need to quit the cigarettes for good?
Most people are aware that smoking is bad for their health. However, many people do not realise the effect smoking can have on their teeth and gums.
Smoking can cause your teeth to yellow in a very short time and after years of smoking your teeth can appear almost brown. This is due to the nicotine and tar present in the tobacco.
Smoking causes changes in your saliva which increases the production of harmful plaque. If left this can lead to gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the UK. Once gum disease develops it will progress more quickly if you smoke, because of a reduced supply of oxygen in the bloodstream, which means that infected gums do not heal as well.
Although smoking is mostly linked to lung and throat cancers, it is also one of the main causes of mouth cancer too. Mouth cancer can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat and is currently one of the few cancers which is seeing an increase in diagnosis year on year.
If you smoke it is important that you take extra care and attention with your oral hygiene routine
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. You may want to alternate your usual toothpaste with one designed to remove stains. These can be more abrasive than normal toothpaste so should be used with care.
- Use interdental brushes to clean in between teeth in areas that brushing alone misses. This helps to remove plaque and food particles trapped between teeth, which if left can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
- Mouthwash can help to freshen your breath, improving bad breath caused by smoking in the short term.
- Visit the dentist for regular routine dental appointments so that any problems can be identified early and treated quickly.
- Visit the hygienist, who is a specialist in preventive dental care, to help keep gum disease at bay, with a thorough cleaning and advice on oral hygiene routines
If you would like to find out more about how smoking can affect your oral health and how you can quit, please call 01245 421781 to book an appointment with our experienced dentists at Writtle Dental Practice.