We’re just a week and a day away from the Great American Smokeout, an annual event hosted by the American Cancer Society that is designed to help smokers kick the habit for good! At Edgewood Dental Care we support all our patients in their tobacco cessation goals!
Quitting smoking can be difficult but the health benefits that come with it are amazing. It’s also essential to your oral health as well, which is what we want to talk about today. We hope that knowing about the oral health risks will help you make a good decision to kick the habit for good!
What Does Smoking Do To Your Mouth
Numerous studies of the mouths of tobacco users have indicated one particular startling fact: the bacteria levels in their mouths are heavily tipped to the harmful side! Our mouths usually contain over 300 different strains of bacteria but not the mouths of smokers – tobacco use kills off the harmless varieties and lets the bad ones flourish!
The harmful bacteria in your mouth acts by metabolizing sugar. When you eat anything with sugar, either sweet foods or starchy ones, your oral bacteria metabolizes it into acid that eats away at your teeth’s enamel. As enamel is lost bacteria quickly takes up residence in the space left behind, causing more and more destruction as it creates cavities and decay.
Tooth decay isn’t the only additional risk for smokers – there’s also gum disease. The chances that a smoker ends up with gum disease are incredibly high. It’s a dangerous condition that you don’t want to end up with!
Gum disease starts off unnoticeably when harmful oral bacteria gets below your gumline. Once there it spreads without your toothbrush being able to get rid of it. Your body will quickly recognize the infection, causing your gums to become inflamed and red. Unlike most inflammation that goes away when an infection is resolved gum disease isn’t that easy to treat and the inflammation results in serious damage to your gums and teeth.
As gum disease progresses it will lead to gum recession, bone loss, and eventually tooth loss as well. The worst part about the whole thing is that gum disease is preventable and the risks can be reduced by eliminating smoking!
Getting Back To Good Oral Health
Other oral health considerations, like oral cancer, bad breath, and a dry mouth are all things that will go away when you quit smoking but in order to ensure a good transition to a healthy mouth it’s important that we see you at our Edgewood dentist office. We can perform a thorough exam and a number of tests to determine the state of your oral health and stop problems from getting worse.
Our exams include a series of state-of-the-art digital X-rays and other imaging techniques that will help us get a perfect picture of your teeth, gums, and bone. We’ll be able to make recommendations and plan treatment incredibly accurately, ensuring that your road back to great oral health is smooth and easy.
If we notice any sign of gum disease we’ll treat it right away. Early gum disease can often be treated with just a change in oral care habits but there may also be a need for a process called scaling and root planing, which uses special tools to go beneath the gumline and remove bacteria. We’ll pair that with other gum disease treatments to ensure that your gums heal perfectly and stay that way!
We Want To Help!
Quitting smoking can be challenging but consider the benefits to your oral health over time – you’ll drastically reduce your chances of losing teeth, having bad discoloration, and you’ll feel great about the choice you made!
If you’re ready to quit smoking or are concerned about the state of your oral health don’t hesitate to call us. We’re ready to help you get a great, clean smile that you’ll be thrilled to have for life. Schedule an appointment at Edgewood Dental Care today by calling 859-474-7830 or by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!