The impact of smoking (and chewing) tobacco on your health is well known in the medical community. It should be no surprise, then, that smoking also has a big impact on your oral health.
Dr. Boyle wants you to have the most healthy mouth you can. Make an appointment with our Lancaster, CA office to talk about smoking and what you can do to keep it from ruining your smile.
The latest studies from the Journal of Periodontology have shown a direct connection between smoking and gum disease. Smokers are about four times more likely to develop periodontitis than people who’ve never smoked or who have not smoked for 11 years.
Quantity matters as well. If you smoke more than one and a half packs of cigarettes a day, you’re six times more likely than non-smokers to have periodontic disease! That’s a big difference.
Some problems that can be caused by tobacco use include:
- Dulled sense of taste and smell
Smoking can impair the sense of taste and smell in both young and older smokers. Your nose contains olfactory nerves that give signals to your brain about how something smells. Smoking damages those nerves, which means you can’t smell things as well as you used to. Smoking also damages the taste receptors on your tongue, meaning you won’t be able to taste foods as well.
- Difficulties in correcting some cosmetic dental problems
Some dental procedures are riskier if you are a long-term smoker. Smoking causes the healing phase in dental implants to take longer, for example. Also, smoking can cause bone loss which may impact whether an implant fused into our jawline.
Smoking can affect other procedures as well. Give us a call at 661-524-8457 if you would like more information.
- Stained teeth and tongue
When you smoke, you inhale a bunch of chemicals, including tar and nicotine. The residue from tar, nicotine, and other chemicals in tobacco can leave a stain on your teeth. Your tongue can turn yellow as well.
- Slow healing after dental surgery or a tooth extraction
The body needs oxygen in order for wounds to heal. Smoking deprives the body of that oxygen. When that happens, cells are slower to repair. Your immune system is weakened.
- Bad breath
Regular smokers tend to have a stale scent to their breath. You’ve heard of Smokers’ Breath. But tobacco also contains chemicals that can encourage gum disease, which is another cause of bad breath. Tobacco use can also dry out your palate, making it easier for bacteria to grow.
- Gum disease
Smoking is a major cause of severe gum disease. In fact, periodontal disease accounts for almost fifty percent of smoking-related diseases. Gum disease happens when bacteria on your teeth get under your gums. If those germs stay on your teeth for too long, you’ll develop plaque and tartar.
Dr. Tab A. Boyle can help you avoid gum disease with regular examinations. If you already have gum disease, we can advise you on what surgical and non-surgical treatments are available.
- Oral cancer
About 50,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year in the United State alone. A study at the University of San Francisco, estimated that eight out of ten oral cancer patients were smokers.
What You Can Do
Of course, the first thing to do is to quit smoking. Not just for your teeth, but for your total health and well-being. At the very least, try to cut down on your tobacco use.
Come see us regularly. Regular dental checkups can do wonders for your oral health. We can detect oral cancer symptoms early and take steps to reverse them.
Regular dental checkups can also keep those yellow teeth at bay. Regular cleanings can help keep tar and nicotine from building up on your teeth.
Practice good oral hygiene at home. Brushing your teeth and gums and flossing regularly can help keep the carcinogens in tobacco from wreaking havoc in your mouth.
At the office of Dr. Tab A. Boyle, we can get you on the right track to healthier teeth. Get started on your oral health today! Give us a call at 661-524-8457 to set up an appointment.You can also use our online form to schedule an appointment, ask questions, or leave comments. We want to help you have a healthier mouth.