Smoking and your oral health go hand in hand. We all know smoking is bad for your overall health. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Each year, about 443,000 people die prematurely due to smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoking negatively impacts all aspect of your body, and if you are a smoker it is never too late to quit. Oftentimes, a smoker’s teeth and mouth can sometimes suffer the most from their habit.
How Does Smoking Affect my Oral Health?
Smoking impacts your mouth and oral health in both visible, and non-visible ways. Smoking decreases both the blood flow to your gums and the amount of saliva that flows through your mouth. Without proper blood flow, vital nutrients cannot reach your gums, resulting in gum disease, bone loss and tooth loss. Saliva helps clean your teeth and the absence of it can cause tooth decay. Smoking also causes teeth to become discolored with yellow and brown stains from the nicotine found in cigarettes. In addition, smoking causes you to have bad breath and a decrease in your sense of taste.
The most severe results of smoking is oral cancer Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer, accounting to nearly fiver percent of all cases, and more than 8,000 deaths every year. Throat cancer is also aided by smoking.
What About Cigars? Are They Safe to Smoke?
Cigars contain the same harmful carcinogenic compounds as cigarettes and are therefore, no more safe to smoke. Cigar smoking increases your risk for oral, lung, larynx, and esophageal cancers.
Are Smokeless Tobacco and E-Cigarettes Safe?
In short, no. Smokeless tobacco increases your risk for developing gum disease and gum recession. Smokeless tobacco users are also four to six times more likely to develop oral cancer from chewing tobacco. The area of your mouth where you physically place chewing tobacco is 50 times more likely to be a site of oral cancer.
E-cigarettes are all the rage right now, and are touted as a safe alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. E-cigarettes still have nicotine in them, and nicotine inhalation can make you more susceptible to bacteria buildup I your mouth, as well as tooth decay and dry mouth.
Most of s have been told since childhood that smoking is bad for your health. Quitting, no matter at what age, will improve your health and increase your longevity. Quitting smoking will also help stop the process of tooth decay and other oral issues. A beautiful and healthy smile is something that allows us to feel confident. Smoking erodes that confidence and causes other oral health issues to take center stage.