Smoking has a number of detrimental effects on oral health, and this is why a dentist may often point patients toward smoking cessation resources.
Your dentist is always on the lookout for signs of gum disease, a serious condition that can ultimately result in tooth and bone loss. Smokers have a higher risk of developing this disease, most likely due to inflammation that makes the gum tissue more susceptible to infection.
At the same time, smokers accumulate plaque and tartar along the gumline more quickly than non-smokers do. Those substances contain the bacteria that cause gum disease, as well as cavities, so smoking packs a double punch in compromising gum health.
Oral cancer is also a concern for smokers. According to the American Cancer Society, smokers are six times likelier than non-smokers to develop cancer in the mouth or throat. Furthermore, 37 percent of people who continue smoking after one bout of cancer will have a recurrence.
Smokeless tobacco isn’t a safe alternative, either. In fact, chewing tobacco is also associated with an increased risk of oral cancer.
Smoking also can lead to a greater likelihood of complications with certain dental work, like dental implants or wisdom teeth extraction. This habit can interfere with the normal healing process and may increase a patient’s chances of a post-operative infection.
Of course, smoking causes issues that are cosmetic-based, but unappealing nonetheless. Smokers have bad breath and yellower teeth.
Improving your oral health is one of the many benefits that you will gain if you quit smoking (and maintaining a healthy smile is an excellent motivation to avoid starting in the first place). There are a variety of different methods that can help you quit smoking, from patches to gum to prescription drugs to alternative medicine.
Talk to our experienced dental team to get a better idea of which smoking cessation option might work best for you. Call 972-458-2464 to schedule an appointment today.