Most people are aware of the health issues that smoking tobacco causes, organizations have done an amazing job of spreading this knowledge. However, we want to talk about the impact that smoking has on your oral health and what you can do to prevent or minimize complications.
Traditionally, tobacco products were marketed as cigarettes and chewing products but vaping has made the consumption of tobacco more appealing to younger generations and people who avoided cigarettes due to the smell and stigma. It is important to understand that no matter which product is used you are still at risk for serious oral complications.
Impacts Of Smoking
Even with a healthy daily oral care routine, someone who smokes is still likely to be impacted by the negative effects smoking has on the mouth. A heavy smoker has a higher chance of developing mouth cancer, root rot, complications after tooth removal and dental procedures, discoloration of teeth, gum disease, and halitosis.
You should be aware of any changes in your mouth, but it may be hard to know what to keep an eye out for. During your daily oral routine inspect your mouth for spots on your gums, inflammation of the gums, bleeding or loosening of gums, loose teeth, and persistent bad breath. These symptoms may be an indication of gum disease or a serious oral problem and we recommend scheduling an appointment for diagnosis and treatment.
A major oral health concern that is associated with smoking is oral cancer. With 90% of oral cancer victims being tobacco users it is certainly not something that should be taken lightly. Symptoms include having an internal oral ulcer, swelling in the mouth, and red or white patches throughout the mouth. Scheduling regular dental checkups is essential for the early detection and treatment of oral cancer.
Though the long-term effects of vaping have not yet been determined it is still associated with oral health issues that should be taken seriously. Though vaping is an appealing alternative to smoking cigarettes vape juice contains propylene glycol, nicotine, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing compounds. Propylene glycol is associated with the deterioration of gum tissue and enamel. The ingredients in vape juice also cause dry mouth by irritating salivary glands and preventing blood flow to the gums. You can learn more about the harmful effects of vaping and resources to help you quit at thetruth.com.
What You Can Do
It may be easier said than done but quitting smoking is your best option to decrease your chances of developing gum disease and oral cancer. We understand that this is a difficult decision so we are here to provide you with some steps to promote healthy oral habits as you transition.
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss at least once a day
- Limit alcohol intake
- Reduce the occurrence of smoking
- Avoid dry mouth by increasing your intake of water
Speak with your doctor about quitting smoking and schedule an appointment with Premier Dental Lockhart to begin your journey to making your oral health a priority.