Say No to Tobacco for Healthy Pink Gums and a Stain-free Smile
May 31st marks “World No Tobacco Day” and the team at Dental Care Professionals want to remind everyone of the negative impact smoking has on your oral and general health.
Tobacco smoking is the largest preventable cause of death and disease in Australia. – Cancer Council Australia
What are Tobacco Teeth?
Tobacco teeth are what you get from prolonged tobacco use (smoking or chewing). Teeth become discoloured – first yellow and over time become a brown colour. The gums also discolour from a healthy pink they can become white or develop patches of brown that spread.
How Can Smoking Affect My Oral Health?
Most people are now aware that smoking is bad for their health.
Smoking can cause many different medical problems and, in some cases, fatal diseases. However, many people don’t realise the damage that smoking does to their mouth, gums and teeth.
Smoking can lead to tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss (tobacco teeth), and in more severe cases mouth cancer.
How is Smoking Tobacco Related to Gum Disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease is an infection of the gums and can affect the bone structure that supports your teeth. In severe cases, gum disease can cause your teeth to fall out.
Smoking is a significant factor in the type of severe gum disease that can cause long-term permanent damage to your gums and jaw bone structure.
Smoking weakens your body’s infection fighters (your immune system). This makes it harder to fight off a gum infection.
Once you have gum damage, smoking also makes it harder for your gums to heal.
What does this mean for smokers?
- Smokers have twice the risk for gum disease compared with a non-smoker
- The more cigarettes you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease
- The longer you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease
- Treatments for gum disease may not work as well for people who smoke
- Tobacco used in any form — cigarettes, pipes, and smokeless (spit) tobacco—raises your risk for gum disease
If you smoke or use spit tobacco, quitting will help your gums heal and will lead to better oral health and overall health.
Why are Smokers Teeth Stained?
One of the effects of smoking is staining on the teeth, due to the nicotine and tar in tobacco.
These chemicals in tobacco make your teeth yellow in a very short time, and heavy smokers often complain that their teeth are almost brown after years of smoking.
Because Smokers are more likely to have stained teeth, they need appointments more often with the dental hygienist. Avoiding tobacco teeth with a quick dental visit to clean teeth and manage gum health is a small inconvenience compared to what can develop if you ignore your more vulnerable oral health.
How is Smoking Linked with Cancer?
Most people know that smoking can cause lung and throat cancer, but many people still don’t know that smoking is one of the main causes of mouth cancer too.
Not all mouth cancers can be treated. Every year thousands of people die from mouth cancer brought on by smoking.
How Often Should a Smoker Visit the Dentist?
It is important that you visit your dental team regularly for a normal check-up and a full mouth examination so that any other conditions can be spotted early.
Early detection of serious gum infections or suspect tissue damage can be the difference between have treatment options and palliative care. Making regular appointments with a dentist a must for smokers.
How Can a Visit to the Dentist Helps Smokers?
Your dentist will carry out a regular examination to make sure that your teeth and gums and whole mouth are healthy. They will also examine your cheeks, tongue and throat for any signs of other conditions that may need more investigation.
Don’t have a regular dentist? Contact the friendly team at Dental Care Professionals today!Leave a reply →