If World No Tobacco Day has you considering kicking your tobacco habit, Deer Park Dental Surgery would like to share some facts to help convince you that the time to quit is today.
Cigarette smoke is a witches’ brew of chemicals, including tar and nicotine.
Some of these chemicals are cancerous or carcinogenic, including benzene, also an ingredient in gasoline.
Cigarette smoke contains poisonous gases, including carbon monoxide, found in car exhaust; hydrogen cyanide, an ingredient in chemical weapons; and ammonia, a well-known and toxic household cleaner.
Smoking also harms your oral health.
How does Smoking Damage my Dental Health?
Smoking leads to dental problems, including:
- Tooth discolouration
- Bad breath
- Increased build-up of plaque and tartar on teeth
- Heightened risk of gum disease
- Inflammation of the openings of the salivary glands on the roof of the mouth
- Heightened loss of bone within the jaw
- Increased risk of leukoplakia, white patches (lesions) on oral soft tissues
- Delayed healing after tooth extractions, oral surgery, or periodontal treatment
- Decreased success rate of dental implant procedures
- Increased risk of developing oral cancer
Use of tobacco products affects the attachment of bones and soft tissues to your teeth.
It interferes with the regular operation of gum tissue cells, making smokers more prone to infections, including periodontal diseases.
It also limits blood flow to the gums – which can slow the wound healing process..
Nine-tenths of people with cancer of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat use tobacco, and the risk of these cancers is directly linked to the amount smoked or chewed and the how long the tobacco use has gone on.
Smokers are six times more likely to develop these cancers.
What about Pipes, Cigars, or Chewing Tobacco?
These products are no different. 23 year-long study showed that cigar smokers suffer tooth loss and bone loss within the jawbone that anchors teeth at rates similar to cigarette smokers.
Beyond that, cigar and pipe smokers are at risk for oral and throat cancers — if they inhale or not — and other oral consequences including stained teeth, bad breath, and increased risk of gum disease.
Smokeless tobacco products (e.g. chewing tobacco and snuff) contain nearly 30 chemicals shown to increase the risk of oral, throat, and esophageal cancer.
Worse, chewing tobacco has higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes do, making them harder to quit. One can of snuff has the nicotine punch of more than 60 cigarettes.
Smokeless tobacco can aggravate gum tissues, causing them to pull back from your teeth. Once the gum tissue draws back, teeth roots are exposed, increasing the chance of tooth decay.
Sugars, frequently added to enhance the flavour of smokeless tobacco, can increase your risk for tooth decay. One study showed that chewing tobacco users were four times more likely to suffer from tooth decay.
Smokeless tobacco also typically contains grit and sand from the soil in which it is grown, which can erode teeth.
Kick the Tobacco Habit
No matter how long you have used tobacco products, quitting now can significantly decrease its risks to your health.
Just over a decade after quitting, former smokers’ likelihood of having periodontal disease was not substantially different from people who had never smoked.
Even cutting back can help. One study discovered that smokers who cut their smoking habit back to less than half a pack daily had only three times the risk of developing gum disease compared to nonsmokers.
This was dramatically lower than the six times higher risk seen for those who smoked more than a pack and a half per day.
How to Quit
If you want to quit, your doctor or dentist might help you quell cravings with medications, including patches and nicotine gum.
Some of these products can be purchased at the chemist; others call for a prescription.
Smoking cessation support groups and classes and often used in partnership with medications.
These programs are frequently found through local hospitals, insurance companies, and sometimes through employer health programs.
Ask your doctor or your Deer Park dentist for information on cessation programs they may be familiar with or recommend.
World No Tobacco Day allows us to raise awareness of the health complications that come along with smoking, and it should give you extra incentive to quit.
Quitting can be challenging; but, by taking the right steps and visiting your Deer Park dentist regularly, you can take back control of your health.
Contact your Deer Park Dentist, today, to make an appointment and to take one of the steps to make your oral health improved for the future.
The Deer Park Dental Surgery Difference
Deer Park Dental Surgery delivers outstanding patient care and customer service to the growing community in Deer Park and its surrounds.
Our location is strategic as we are located in a busy medical centre in Brimbank Shopping Centre. We are also open on Saturdays, which cater to your family needs.
Parking is hassle-free.
GAP FREE for New Patients
(with any health insurance)
We are located at T097a Brimbank Shopping Centre Neale Road in Deer Park.