21 Jul Smoking and Your Oral Health
Kicking the Habit Helps
Tobacco use may be one of the biggest risk factors in the development of periodontal disease.” —David A. Albert, DDS and Associate Professor, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
California recently tightened its regulations to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. New legislation was also passed for stricter control of e-cigarettes and vaping. While this is good news for people’s health, millions of Americans per year still choose to suffer, and in some cases inflict through second-hand smoke, the health complications that come from tobacco. Besides the common side effect of bad breath, smoking results in other health problems such as:
- increased risk of developing oral cancer;
- the aforementioned periodontal disease;
- slower healing times after oral surgery;
- higher likelihood of tooth decay;
- stained or yellowed teeth;
- missing teeth;
- a stained tongue,
- a reduced sense of smell and taste;
- increased likelihood of dental implant failure;
- and did we say oral cancer?
Why Does Smoking Cause Oral Health Issues?
It is believed that the chemicals contained in tobacco interfere with the flow of blood to the gums.” — Dr. A. Albert, DDS
This lack of blood flow is believed to play a role in many of the above-mentioned health problems. Smoking is also known to limit salivary flow. This probably explains the fact that most smokers develop more tartar, increasing gum recession. Since saliva also helps the teeth remineralize after damage, it also points to the increased risk for tooth decay.
Sadly, knowing the risks and problems as a result of smoking and nicotine addiction doesn’t prevent many people from beginning or quitting this unhealthy and expensive habit. Quitting smoking is the best way to avoid the problems and dental complications caused by tobacco use. The dentists at the Yuba City Dentistry Group understand that it’s hard to give up tobacco and we are happy to supply our patients with resources for smoking cessation. Even prescription medications are available to assist with quitting the tobacco habit. When patients also replace smoking habits with healthier ones, such as regular exercise, increased water consumption, and healthy snacks, they have a better chance of kicking the habit.
Whether you’re a smoker or non-smoker, the Yuba City Dentistry Group cares about all of our patients and wants everyone to avoid the health risks associated with smoking and second-hand smoke. If you are a smoker with dental issues, such as periodontal disease, teeth staining or loose teeth, do not hesitate to visit our Yuba City dental office for a consultation to save your teeth or provide a dental restoration.