How Smoking Affects Dental Health

How Smoking Affects Dental Health

Most of us aware of the fact that smoking is so badly injurious to our health but did you know smoking is also a major factor responsible for various gum diseases?

Smoking and dental health have an intimate connection. In fact, smoking is not the only habit to blame for the dental problems, all forms of tobacco such as Gutkha (made from tobacco, areca nut, catechu, slaked lime and sweet flavorings) pan masala and other smokeless tobacco products which are widely consumed in Indian sub-continent are to be blamed equally.

Tobacco and Dental Problems

So let’s get the facts straight.

  • The use of tobacco puts a person at the risk of oral cancer, a disease which is wildly spreading. It can be life-threatening if not diagnosed in the early stages.
  • Most of the heavy smokers will have brownish teeth. The discoloration is because of sticky tar deposits or brown stains on the teeth.
  • Delayed healing of the gums especially after oral surgery procedures.
  • Offensive breath or halitosis due to the bacterial imbalance.
  • Black hairy tongue
  • Receding of gum tissues that can expose the roots of the teeth eventually putting the person at the risk of tooth decay and hot and cold sensitivities.

Did you know?

  1. Cigarettes and Cigars contain various types of toxins that are directly linked to cancer. It’s a myth that not inhaling them decreases your chances for dental problems.
  2. Smokeless tobacco or products found in dip and chew contains more nicotine than the cigarettes and cigars. 
  3. According to American Dental Association there are 28 different cancer-causing chemicals found in smokeless tobacco products. Smokeless products besides oral cancer can contribute to pancreatic cancer as well.
  4. Smoking pipes or hookah water pipes are in trend since the last decade and increasing day by day. Again this is a misconception that water in the pipes filters out all the dangerous toxins and it is yet to be known how this thing reacts inside our mouth. 

In some studies, it has been found that tobacco has the potential of absorbing heavy metals such as iron, copper and lead. Long-term exposure to these may lead to head and neck cancer.

How to get rid of smoking and tobacco products

This is a serious question and solution to it needs a little courage. Quitting tobacco products provides numerous and long-term health benefits including the one we are discussing in this article i.e. dental hygiene. You need just inner strength and a strong reason, may be apprehension about your family and future.

Yes, quitting smoking and other tobacco-related products is not an instant easy kind of job, though people with strong determination might abandon this instantly, if you start now, you will be pleasantly surprised to see the benefits and top of all, your life-term will be extended. 

So quit now, you never know your strong determination could inspire others as well.

Sources

1. Alkhatib MN., et al.(2005).Smoking and tooth discolouration: findings from a national cross-sectional study. read more
2. Gautam DK.,et al.(2011).Effect of cigarette smoking on the periodontal health status: A comparative, cross sectional study. read more
3. Smokeless Tobacco(2016, October 12) 
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