Because cigarette smoking can affect nearly every organ in your body, our gums and teeth are not an exception to the bad effects of smoking.
Tobacco contains chemicals that are harmful to the human body and the smoking or chewing of tobacco is the cause of 80–90% of oral cancers. Other oral consequences of tobacco consumption include increased risk of periodontal disease, bad breath, tooth discolouration, and increased build-up of dental plaque, and delayed healing following tooth extraction, periodontal treatment or oral surgery.
Studies have shown that smokers were three to six times more likely to suffer from advanced gum disease than non-smokers. This happens because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream so infected gums do not heal. This can accelerate the effects of gum disease, which can then lead to tooth loss. Bad breath can also arise from the combination of severe gum disease. People who smoke are much more likely to develop oral cancer than those who do not smoke. The risk also increases as smoking is coupled with drinking alcohol as these two are known to have carcinogenic substances.
As you smoke the nicotine and tar present in all cigarettes settle into the oral cavity and penetrate through microscopic openings in the enamel, leading to the yellow or brown coloration of your teeth.
Keeping your mouth and teeth as clean as possible in a daily basis can help you to avoid problems. Brushing often with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily prevents tooth decay and periodontal disease. It is highly recommended for individuals who smoke that they gradually decrease and ultimately stop smoking as a means of promoting good health and reduce risks of severe consequences such as cancer.
Don’t forget to book your regular check up with your dentist and your hygienist to monitor your oral health.
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