We know that smoking is bad; everyone knows that smoking causes diseases and other unpleasant conditions that can affect pretty much every area of your body but still 5% of men and 4% of women still smoke heavily in UK alone.
Smoking can cause all kinds of negative effects, minor, major, and everything in between. The following health issues can result from smoking:
- Bad Breath
- Staining and Discolouration of Teeth and Tongue
- Dulled Ability to Taste or Smell
- Slow Healing After Oral Surgery
- Cosmetic Issues with Teeth that are Hard to Fix
- Gum Disease
- Oral Cancer
How does Smoking ( nicotine ) work?
Nicotine is substance that makes cigarettes both pleasurable to smoke and addictive. It is a chemical that occurs naturally in the tobacco plant. When you inhale the smoke from a cigarette a large amount is drawn into your lungs and transferred to your blood – travelling to your brain within seconds. In the brain nicotine causes the release of chemicals that give you feelings of pleasure and relax you for a short period of time. It is the fast transfer of nicotine to the brain that gives you a buzz or rush. Cigarette addiction has 2 elements:
Smoking a Danger to your Dental Health ;
Nicotine makes it difficult for your dentist to spot any signs of developing oral health issues, especially for tobacco-related tooth decay, where the warning signs are only a few.
A major problem of smoking is that it tends to disguise the damage taking place to teeth and gums, usually infected gums are red, puffy and bleed easily when they are brushed. Smokers’ gums are not like this – they are pale and thin and do not bleed readily. Over the years this deep deterioration of the teeth occurs when tobacco chemicals encounter the plaque bacteria, causing the bone support to shrink away from a tooth’s roots.
Even for smokers who are brushing properly, tooth decay can pose a problem due to nicotine’s effect on our saliva. The watery, ‘serous’ saliva which plays an important role in neutralising the acidity of our mouths after eating is undermined by nicotine, which instead encourages greater production of the thicker ‘mucous’ saliva form.
This underlines the significance of anyone who currently smokes or who has smoked in the past to be visiting their dentist on a regular basis (at least once every six months). Your dentist is able to examine your mouth for any subtle changes which could signal the potential for cancer, with early detection being the key to saving lives.
If you would like to quit, consult with your dentist and hygienist. They will be able to offer suggestions and methods that fit your needs and are likely to be successful, as well as support for your efforts.