We know that smoking is very ruinous to our health leading to deadly diseases such as lung, stomach, kidney cancer or heart stroke. Most of us are aware of this fact that smoking is injurious to our health but we do not realise that it can also damage our mouth, teeth, jawbone and gums. It can lead to a large number of oral problems. Usually, smoking is just linked to health problems but not the oral ones. It is necessary to know that smoking is also very harmful to our oral health.
There are several ways in which smoking can effect our oral health, which includes:
- The amount of nicotine and tar present in a cigarette can turn the teeth into yellow colour. The discolouration of teeth can begin shortly after smoking and long-term heavy smokers often find that their teeth are almost brown. Smoking lets nicotine and tar enter into the oral cavity which thereby seeps into the microscopic opening of the teeth and leads to yellow or brown teeth. Smoking leads to tooth stains or overall teeth discoloration. In order to reduce discolouration, teeth whitening is the best method to reduce the stains.
- The people who smoke have a great amount of calcular and tar deposits in their teeth, which increases the dental plaque in the mouth. This thereby, builds up the amount or tartar in the teeth and leads to tooth decay.
- Tobacco present in the cigarette can interfere with the gum tissue cells. This happens because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream so infected gums do not heal. This can accelerate the effects of gum disease, which can then lead to tooth loss.
- The quality of the saliva present in the mouth can also be altered such that it becomes less watery and thus, have lessened cleaning action against food debris and bacteria.
- One of the main cause of smoking is Bad Breath. Not only does smoking give you dry mouth, but tar and nicotine settles in your oral cavity, leading to a condition known as “smoker’s breath.”
- Smoking greatly increases the chances of oral cancer, which is as much dangerous as lung or other cancer is. If you smoke you are six times more likely to have oral cancer than the non-smokers. The odds also rise when combined with alcohol use and poor diet.
HOW CAN WE REDUCE THE RISK?
The nicotine present in cigarettes is highly addictive and lets the smoker want for more packs. But if you want to improve your oral health, you should quit smoking. Abandoning the habit can consequently lead to decrease in the risk of oral health problems. Nicotine gum and patches, herbal remedies, therapy and support groups are all available to help you stop smoking.
The habit makes it extremely difficult for a person to live a healthy life. So if you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you are a smoker and looking to quit, start by seeing a dentist to evaluate your dental health.Your dentist can provide you with necessary steps you can take in order to maintain a good oral health and prescribe you with a dental treatment if there is a need. If you care about your health, you’ll take the steps to improve it — and prolong your life in the process!
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