Quitting smoking helps more than just your lungs.
If your resolution includes quitting smoking, then good for you! This is one of the most significantly beneficial lifestyle changes you can make.
We are well aware that smoking causes major problems for organs such as your lungs and heart, but what about your mouth? Smoking is a huge risk factor for many oral health issues such as:
~ Oral cancer – smokers are up to 6 times more likely to develop oral cancers, this is on the rise for women and more young girls take up smoking.
~ Gum disease – Smoking can also suppress the body’s immune system, reducing its ability to fight infections such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. If you already suffer with gum disease smoking slows the healing of damaged gum tissue due to vaso-constriction (narrowing of blood vessels).
~ Premature tooth loss – On average smokers will lose 2 teeth every 10 years. Smokers develop more calculus (or tartar), which can lead to such things as recession. They are also at a much greater risk for periodontal disease which is the number one reasons adult lose their teeth.
~ Tooth discoloration – Smoking may leave black or brown stains on the surface of the teeth, most commonly found behind all of the front teeth but also around the neck of the tooth. If there is recession present then the stain may adhere to the margin where the enamel meets the root surface. Depending on the severity and location of the stain it may be very difficult to remove.
~ Bad breath – In smokers halitosis is generally caused by the retention and exhalation of the smoke that is inhaled
~ Deep wrinkling around the mouth- Smoking can create deep wrinkles around the mouth and speed up the skin’s natural aging process
Even with excellent oral hygiene and preventative care, smokers may face a particularly difficult time in maintaining the health of their gums, not only are smokers more likely to develop gum diseases, but they also have a more difficult time treating such diseases and restoring their gums to a healthy state. This is even truer for patients who also suffer from conditions that already threatens their immune system, such as diabetes.
Quitting is not easy but the benefits are almost immediate. Your circulation improves, your blood pressure starts to return to normal, breathing becomes easier and your taste buds awaken. You’ll also have a healthier mouth!
If quitting smoking is on your to do list talk to us, there are many resources available to make the journey easier.
Good luck & don’t give up!
Here are some great resources to get you started: