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How Does Smoking Affect Your Oral Health?

March 5th, 2018

Everyone knows smoking is harmful to your health, but did you know it is also a primary contributor to dental problems? Smoking can affect almost every organ of your body, so it’s not surprising that it is also harmful to your oral health. Whether you smoke cigarettes or use any other tobacco product, the fact remains that there is no healthy level of tobacco exposure.

Impacts of Smoking and Tobacco Products

Periodontal Disease:

Periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease, is an infection of your gums potentially leading to tooth loss. It results from buildups of plaque housing harmful oral bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that smokers have more than twice the risk of developing gum disease as compared to non-smokers. Smoking interferes with your immune system, making it hard for your body to fight off many conditions including gum disease. Periodontal treatment may not be as successful in smokers as in nonsmokers because smoking makes it difficult for your gums to heal.

Oral Cancer:

This disease involves the gradual mutation of healthy cells in your mouth. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, smoking plays a significant role in the cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year. Studies have shown that as many as eight out of every ten patients with this disease are smokers. Repeated exposure to harmful chemicals found in tobacco products can cause changes in oral tissues, potentially leading to oral cancer.

Other Effects of Tobacco Products:

In addition to periodontal disease and oral cancer, smoking can lead to tooth decay, diminish your sense of taste and smell and impede recovery after a dental procedure. Tar from cigarette smoke can stain your teeth, discolor your tongue, and cause bad breath.

Are You Ready for Change?

Quitting smoking is the best way to lower your risk of tobacco-related problems. Contact us at Avalon Dental Care today for help to stop smoking and learn how to maintain healthy teeth. Our preventative dentistry practices aim to keep your oral health in tip-top shape for years to come. We are here to help you enjoy white teeth, fresh breath, and a healthy mouth once again. Schedule your appointment today!

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