Everyone knows that smoking is damaging to your lungs; but surely it’s just bad for your teeth because it stains them and gives you bad breath, right?
Wrong; smoking is one of the leading causes of tooth loss because of how it slows healing in your mouth. Worse, it can also cause oral cancers.
World No Tobacco Day, every 31 May, highlights health and other risks related to tobacco use and advocates for reduced tobacco use and protection from the risks of secondhand smoke.
If you’re a smoker or once smoked, you may have dental issues needing help. Here’s why smoking is such bad news for your teeth.
What tobacco does to oral health
Aside from staining your teeth and giving you bad breath, smoking has serious effects on many different areas of the body. Your oral health suffers because smoking affects the cardiovascular system. Aside of causing major risks to the heart, it causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, and increases your chance of developing gum disease. If you’re still smoking, you’re also slowing down the healing of infected gums.
Gum disease is still the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. In serious cases of periodontal disease your jawbone can also be affected.
Smoking can also cause oral cancers in your mouth, tongue and throat.
I’ve smoked, now I’m worried
If you smoke or have dental issues from smoking in the past, your National Dental Care practitioner can help.
Your first step is to make an appointment for a checkup, especially if it’s more than six months since your last dental checkup. Your dentist will also carefully check your mouth for any lumps, lesions or changes in the tissue – these can be signs of oral cancer. If you’re still smoking it’s even more important to have regular dental checks as many symptoms may not be obvious to you early on.
Once you’ve had a thorough examination your practitioner will be able to plan treatment for any issues. If you’re still a smoker and want assistance in quitting, they will be able to advise you on where to get help to stop.
If you discover that you need more treatment than you have budgeted for, you may be eligible for a no-interest payment plan, to get your oral health on track without delay.
Next steps for no-tobacco teeth
Once any major issues with your teeth have been dealt with you can move onto more cosmetic treatments to brighten your smile, such as tooth-whitening. If you’ve given up smoking you can remove the evidence with a specialist treatment from your National Dental Care dentist.
Don’t forget to keep up the good work with twice-daily tooth-cleaning and six-monthly checkups even if everything seems fine. It’s always cheaper and quicker to treat a problem early rather than late.
So if World No Tobacco Day is making you want to bin those butts, freshen your breath and get those stains out of your teeth, make your National Dental Care appointment online now.