Everyone who smokes is used to getting lectures nowadays. Gone is the time when smoking was cool, and now it seems you can’t light a cigarette without being judged. There are good reasons for this shift in public perception – we now know that smoking is incredibly dangerous.
It isn’t only a problem for your overall health – it’s also a serious oral health risk as well. Kentucky has consistently come in as the leading state for tobacco use, so we feel it’s our responsibility to do our part for the Edgewood community. Today we’re going to discuss the oral health effects of smoking – yet another reason to kick the habit today!
Your Mouth On Tobacco
Let’s start by taking a look at the way tobacco changes the bacterial makeup of your mouth. This alone is one of the leading complications of tobacco use, and is the trigger by which countless other problems occur.
Your mouth contains hundreds of strains of bacteria, and not all of them are dangerous. Those that are cause gum disease and tooth decay when they metabolize sugars into tooth-destroying acids. Studies of the mouths of smokers have discovered that the bacterial makeup of their mouths varies drastically from that of nonsmokers, and not in a good way.
Tobacco use actually contributes to a die-off of harmless strains of bacteria, which are quickly replaced by larger populations of the dangerous kind. The presence of more harmful bacteria leads to more cavities, greater chances of developing gum disease, and even higher risks for bodily health complications.
The Oral Health Risks Of Tobacco
It’s not just bacteria that gets thrown out of balance. Smoking leads to a number of serious oral health conditions. Many of them are related to bacteria, but plenty others are a direct result of tobacco use.
- Smokers have a six times greater chance of developing oral cancer.
- Smokeless tobacco users have a fifty times greater chance of developing oral cancer.
- Around 50 percent of smokers suffer from gum disease, which is far higher than the general population.
- Smokers are twice as likely to lose teeth or need a root canal.
- Cigars, and other unprocessed forms of tobacco that come in contact with the teeth, contain abrasive particles that can scrape away enamel, increasing your chances of developing cavities.
- Smoking damages your immune system, which makes recovering from conditions like gum disease much more difficult.
- Tobacco use, both smoking and smokeless, discolors your teeth, leaving them dull and yellow.
How To Recover From Tobacco-Related Oral Health Risks
We could go through a list of things you need to do to prevent these complications, but in truth there’s just one thing to do: stop smoking immediately. The sooner you kick the habit the sooner your mouth will start to recover and your risks will decrease.
Aside from quitting smoking there are a number of things we can do to treat and control the effects of tobacco use. Once you’ve stopped using tobacco it’s time to start thinking about repairing your teeth and gums and getting a great looking smile back!
- Professional teeth whitening can eliminate the stains that have built up on your teeth. Our KöR deep bleaching can have your smile looking great in no time at all.
- Gum disease treatments are a nearly universal necessity for those who have kicked their tobacco use habits. We treat gum disease using tradition planing and root scaling and advanced dental lasers. The treatment that’s best for you will be determined after we evaluate your oral health.
- Gum recession is a common side effect of tobacco use and gum disease, but it isn’t permanent. We use the advanced Pinhole® technique to treat gum recession fast and easily. You can have a healthy, natural gumline back in just a matter of days – and all without an incision!
- We’ll also evaluate you for cavities and begin decay prevention treatments that may be needed to reverse damage.
Kick The Habit, Save Your Smile
Quitting smoking can be hard, but restoring the health of your smile doesn’t have to be. Once you’ve managed to eliminate tobacco use from your life we’re ready to help you reverse damage, prevent complications, and restore your look, and all in less time than you could imagine!
If you’re ready to find out how smoking has affected your mouth we’re ready to help. Call our Edgewood office today at 859-474-7830 or request an appointment online. We look forward to years of healthy smiles with you!