Smoking and Dental Health
The list of reasons to quit smoking is lengthy. Patients will reduce their risk of a variety of diseases when they abandon the bad habit, and they’ll save a lot of money in doing so, too, for starters.
If you need more motivation to quit smoking, visit one of our best dentists in Richardson for some guidance. Your oral health will improve if you kick the habit.
Your dentist can discuss the many risks that smoking poses to your dental health. One major concern is periodontal disease. Smoking makes the cells more susceptible to infection, boosting a patient’s chances of developing gum disease. In fact, the American Dental Association estimates that nearly three-quarters of periodontal disease cases in adults are related to smoking.
Smoking also appears to interfere with the attachment between gum tissue and the underlying bone, causing the gums to recede.
Another side effect of smoking is accumulation of more plaque and tartar on the teeth. The bacteria found in those substances will also promote or exacerbate gum disease.
Smoking may also increase the likelihood that a patient will develop oral cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, 80 percent of people diagnosed with cancer are tobacco users. Oral cancer can require disfiguring surgery or, even worse, be fatal.
If you’re thinking about swapping one form of tobacco (cigarettes) for another (such as chewing tobacco), think again. Research has found that virtually all forms of tobacco are linked with higher oral cancer rates.
Another oral health concern associated with smoking is white patches in the mouth (leukoplakia) that can turn into malignancies. Patients who smoke also heal less efficiently after oral surgery. Smoking can even compromise dental implants and limit their durability.
Giving up cigarettes will make some cosmetic enhancements to your smile, as well. Smoking leaves behind stains that make teeth look dingy and yellow. The habit also leads to bad breath.
Smokers often find it difficult to quit if they’re trying to go cold turkey. To improve your chances for success, work with your dentist to develop a smoking cessation plan.