If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to quit smoking, here are some added reasons to stick to your commitment. Your smile — teeth, gums, throat, lips, all soft tissues in the mouth — will thank you as much as your lungs!
Publicity campaigns have helped to make the American population more aware of the deadly and debilitating effects of smoking. Lung cancer is widely associated with cigarette smoking. However, oral cancer takes the life of one person every hour. Oral cancer also has one of the worst survival rates, but is curable if detected in early stages.
Smoking doesn’t just cause bad breath and stained teeth, other problems include a higher risk for gum disease, tooth loss, cavities, breakdown in dental work, and slower healing after dental procedures.
You may already know that plaque is cause of dental decay, however, smoking boosts plaque buildup on teeth, leading to decay. The tar and nicotine in cigarettes stick to gums, teeth and other places in the mouth. This is one reason that smokers often have bad breath.
Smoking also has a drying effect to the mouth, decreasing the flow of saliva. This creates an environment where bacteria breed and thrive. Smoking also causes many challenges to the gums. The results of tobacco use cause a decrease in blood flow, throughout the body as well as to oral tissues. This can cause serious problems to the gum tissue as well as the bones of the mouth’s structure.
Gums can become severely inflamed and send bacteria into the bloodstream through tears in oral tissues. Once this inflammation penetrates areas below the gum line, it becomes a difficult process to treat and eliminate. Gum disease is the nation’s leading cause of tooth loss.
Every dentist wants their patient to enjoy a successful outcome for dental treatments. For smokers, we discourage smoking during healing times since they risk a lower rate of success and higher risk for complications than non-smokers.
The good news is, once you quit smoking, the health of your gums will increase tremendously, which you should notice in a year or less after quitting.
Remember, your gums and teeth are vital parts of your body. They deserve just as much respect and care as other parts of the body. Enjoy your resolution by knowing your smile will improve greatly along with the rest of you!
We welcome new patients and treat them respectfully and make comfort a priority. Begin with a free consultation so we can discuss ways to make your smile its best as you kick the habit! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.