Welcome to the second installment of this two-part article series on the impacts of smoking upon one’s oral health. In Part 1, we spoke to a Manhattan dental implants surgeon who highlighted the following deleterious health impacts:Smoking or chewing tobacco stains and discolors your teeth.Smoking irritates the soft tissue in the mouth, causing it to become red and inflamed.Smoking impedes the healthy production of saliva in the mouth; a condition known as “dry mouth”.Smoking causes halitosis or chronic bad breath.
In spite of this impressive list, we’re yet to get to the very worst of the health implications of being a smoker, so let’s jump right in…Smoking affects the immune system and slows the rate of healing
“Smoking compromises the body’s ability to fight infection. It also restricts the normal flow of blood to the gums, which not only slows healing; it also reduces the supply of vital minerals and nutrients to the gums and teeth,” says the Manhattan dental implants surgeon. “Delayed healing is a considerable problem for patients getting dental work done, such as dental implants, since the risk of post-operative infection and implant failure is much greater for smokers than for non-smokers.”Smoking causes gum disease
“Through the irritation of the oral soft tissues, the reduction of saliva production and the impediment of blood flow to the gums, smoking often leads to the development of gum disease,” says the “All On 4®” implants expert. “Gum disease is characterized by a pervasive bacterial infection of the gums and the supporting structures of the teeth. Over time and left without treatment, it destroys the bone and ligaments that supports the tooth roots, causing them to become loose. Eventually, your teeth will fall out altogether.”
Smokers are six times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers, according to results attained by a dental research team at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.Smoking causes oral cancer, amongst a host of other cancers
The connection between smoking and oral cancer is well documented in the medical literature. Chronic inflammation leads to a greater risk of cancer. If you are a smoker, it is heavily advised that you see your dentist twice a year and make a special mention of your habit. “Ask your dentist to perform oral cancer screenings as a precaution,” advises the Manhattan dental implants surgeon. “Early detection is the key to the best possible chances of complete recovery. If you have noticed any oral sores that don’t heal, or abnormal lumps or lesions, seek immediately professional attention.”
What Can I Do?
No matter which way you look at it, smoking and staying healthy are mutually exclusive. Don’t be swayed by those people’s stories about their great grandfather who smoked 40 a day and died at the age of 95. While such cases may exist, they are the exception rather than the rule. “To protect your oral (and general) health, you should quit smoking,” says the all on 4 implants expert. “If you don’t, anything a dental healthcare practitioner tries to do to fix any problems will most likely be in vain.”
“Additionally, whether you currently smoke or have just given up, you will need to go over and above the norm to keep your teeth and gums clean and free from bacteria. Brush and floss thoroughly every day and consider augmenting your home oral hygiene routine with an anti-septic mouthwash. If you want to avoid an appointment with the Manhattan dental implants surgeon, book regular appointments with your regular dentist and oral hygienist. Prevention is always better and cheaper than cure.”