Tobacco is linked to a number of health complications, including those inside your mouth. Smoking exposes your mouth to over 7,000 chemicals found in tobacco smoke.
The main oral health complications linked to tobacco are these:
Gum disease is the infection of your gums which destroys the soft tissues and jaw bones the holds your teeth. This will then result in teeth loss. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, but tobacco use is also a major risk factor.
Smokers are up to six times more likely to have gum disease.
If you quit smoking today, your risk of gum disease will be reduced to that of a non-smoker in about 11 years.
With almost ten Australians diagnosed with oral cancer each day, the importance of highlighting tobacco’s harmful and deadly effects on the health of people’s teeth and gums has never been more important. Smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop these cancers.
Oral cancer may present as a simple mouth sore (ulcer) or swelling that doesn’t heal.
10 to 20 years after you quit, your risk will be about the same as a lifelong nonsmoker.
See your dentist regularly for oral cancer screenings.
Smoking decreases the blood flow to your oral tissues and impairs the healing process inside your mouth.
Delayed healing inside your mouth can complicate a number of dental procedures like dental extractions, dental implants, treatments of gum disease etc.
The nicotine and tar in cigarettes can stain your teeth and restorations causing cosmetic problems. You can improve the colour of these stained teeth with professional whitening treatments at the Dentist. But to get a long lasting result from these treatments smoking has to be discontinued.
Bad Breath & Dry mouth
Bad breath or “smoker’s breath” can be caused by bacterial buildup inside your mouth or just the lingering smell of the tobacco itself. A good professional clean by the dentist can help improve the bad breath and quitting is also important.
Smokers are more likely to have tooth decay and tooth loss than non-smokers. Your risk for tooth loss decreases within a few years of stopping smoking and approaches that of someone who has never smoked after 10 to 20 years.
Smoking causes Dry mouth which can make your teeth more prone for dental decay and gum disease.
We can help you:
Quitting tobacco is challenging due to its addictive properties. We at Island Dental can help you take back control of your oral health.
Help you understand how smoking affects your mouth.
We could advise you about the different resources available to you for quitting.
We can also check for any abnormal changes in your mouth from tobacco use and offer dental treatments or referrals to help you manage such conditions.
More information can be found online at quit.org.au or call quitline – 137848