Smoking And Oral Health: It’s Time To Say Goodbye To Smoking    


Smoking is a highly destructive lifestyle habit to human health. This is the primary reason why most governments and organisations campaign against smoking and encourage people to quit the habit. Have you thought about the ill effects of smoking on your oral health?   

The dentists in Toorak break down how smoking can impact your oral health with undesired results. Let’s see the main points to help you safeguard from your oral health getting worse. 

Risks Of Oral Cancer

This needs hardly any explanation as most campaigns against smoking describe the risks of oral cancer due to the habit. Images of oral cancer are one of the primary visuals used for displaying the ill effects of smoking. All the leading healthcare service providers and organisations, including Mayo Clinic, advise people not to start the use of tobacco products. If you smoke, it is high time to quit smoking for the sake of general and oral health.  

Studies confirm that smokers are six times riskier than non-smokers to develop mouth cancer. The chemicals in the cigarettes are toxic and convert the healthy cells of the mouth to cancerous. Importantly, cancerous growth can develop in the tongue, lips, gums, and throat. If identified in advance, oral cancer can be treated. However, if unchecked, the diseased can lead to the death of the patient. 

Causing Or Complicating Gum Disease   

Gum disease is a severe oral health issue that can lead to the loss of your teeth in the advanced stage. It is an inflammation of your gums that can happen due to various reasons, including poor oral hygiene. However, smoking can complicate gum disease and make it severe.  

This is mainly due to smoking causes infection and inflammation to your gums. And this results in gum disease. Smoking also produces more bacterial plaque in the patient’s mouth and leads to gum disease. For smokers, the infections in the gum take a long time to heal due to the lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. 

Slow Healing Of Dental Procedures 

Sometimes, you may want to receive invasive dental procedures. If you have a missing tooth, you may get an implant. Also, if you want a smile makeover, you may choose to get oral surgery. Smoking can significantly slow the healing process of these dental procedures. The chemicals and nicotine can cause tenderness and infection around the wound and make the healing difficult.  

In worst cases, it can even lead to the failure of the procedure. Especially if you are receiving dental implants, smoking can create dry sockets that prevent the prosthetic to fuse with the jawbone. This is the primary reason why dentists usually ask patients to stop smoking at least during the healing and recovery period after a dental procedure. 

Bad Breath

The most immediate result of smoking is bad breath. Apart from the smell of cigarettes and chemicals, smoking causes dry mouth that leads to harmful bacterial growth in your mouth. The lack of saliva in the mouth due to smoking gives an advantage for oral bacteria. These unpleasant-smelling bacteria cause bad breath. 

In addition to that, gum disease also causes bad breath. Gum disease usually creates pockets in the gums that collect bacteria, food residue, plaque, tartar, and more. Often, brushing can’t clean these pockets, leading to a foul odour from the gum pockets. Since smoking is one of the primary reasons for gum disease, it becomes the indirect cause of bad breath. 

Stained And Discoloured Teeth 

The staining and discolouration of teeth due to tobacco products is one of the direct and visible effects of smoking. Whether you chew tobacco or smoke, the nicotine and tar in the tobacco can make your teeth appear yellowish and stained. You can brush your teeth multiple times a day to improve the teeth colour, but it doesn’t stop the staining of your teeth. 

Many people have a misconception that e-cigarettes are not harmful and do not cause teeth staining. It is a reality that e-cigarettes do not produce smoke; still, the vapour contains nicotine. Additionally, these cigarettes have some heavy metals and other chemicals that can make your teeth discoloured and stained.  

If you have received teeth whitening recently, quitting smoking can help you get a lasting gleamy-white smile. Keep in mind that getting frequent teeth whitening to manage the discolouration can damage your teeth. Therefore, the best option to safeguard your teeth colour and oral health is quitting the use of tobacco products, including smoking.  

Indirect Impact Due To Other Health Conditions

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is linked to a range of serious general health issues. Apart from cancer, smoking can also cause heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, COPD, and more. Importantly, all these general health issues can bring down your oral health as well. Smoking also decreases the immunity of people and make them vulnerable to various health conditions.    

According to CDC, even secondhand smoke exposure causes stroke, coronary heart disease, and lung cancer in adults. On the other hand, children who are exposed to secondhand smoke have higher risks of infant death syndrome. When good general health is directly linked to your oral health and vice versa, you should say no to anything that can affect your overall health and oral health. 

Quit Smoking For Your Healthy Tomorrow

Whether you just started smoking or a habit for many years, your health is more critical than the detrimental lifestyle habit.  It does not only protect your oral and general health but also safeguard your family and friends from the passive smoking effects.   

Studies also show a number of health benefits for people who quit smoking. It includes reduced stress, improved energy, easy breathing, improved fertility, enhanced smell and taste, and more. You will also look younger with younger-looking skin, slow facial ageing, and delayed appearance of wrinkles. 

Final Thoughts

It is known to everyone that COVID-19 patients with comorbid conditions have a high mortality rate. Especially people with lung issues fall in the riskiest category of COVID-19 hospitalisation and death. Hereafter, you can’t take things for granted when you want to choose between health and habits. Better safe than sorry!  

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Isreal Olabanji DST RN
Isreal Olabanji DST RN
Am Isreal olabanji a dental assistant and public health professionals and has years of experience in assisting the dentist with all sorts of dental issues. We regularly post timely and trustworthy medical information and news. My goal is to enlighten everyone in all aspects of health towards participating in fitness, Dental care, healthy recipes, child health, obstetrics, and more.

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