There’s no question that smoking increases one’s risk for cancer and severe lung and respiratory illnesses, but does smokingresult in oral issues and problems in the mouth? The answer is yes. Specifically, smoking advances gum disease and leads to a build-up of plaque and bacteria. In turn, smoking causes bad breath, while irritated gum tissues develop into white patches in the mouth called Leukoplakia. Finally, smoking is believed to be the cause of 2 out of every 3 reported cases of oral cancer.
Smoking affects how teeth connect to gum tissues. This explains why gums recede or pull away from teeth with prolonged smoking. As one can imagine, when tissues loosen around teeth, bacteria can seep into the spaces and cause infection. Surprising to some, however, smoking also affects how teeth connect to bone in the jaw. This is a result of excess bacteria, plaque and tartar that wreak havoc on teeth and lead to cavities. Simultaneously, teeth weaken as gum tissues lose their firmness. Thus, the roots of teeth cannot adequately support them, and teeth may loosen and fall out.
Given the effects of smoking on oral health, it’s easy to understand why dental professionals urge patients to avoid the habit. However, smoking is addictive, and it is difficult to stop.
Your Dentist Can Help
If you or a loved one wants to stop smoking and restore your smile and overall health, your dentist can help. Dentists place a high value on smoking cessation medications, coupled with healthy support and encouragement. Specifically, smoking cessation decreases one’s craving for nicotine, while easing withdrawal symptoms. MedlinePlus reports that smoking cessation is best achieved with a program that includes:
- Making a clear decision to quit and setting a quit date
- Creating a plan to help you deal with smoking urges
- Getting support from a doctor, counselor or support group
The Support And Guidance You Need
When it comes to smoking, Dr. Joyce Guojun Ma DDS, PhD is uniquely positioned to provide the support and guidance you need to reclaim your oral health. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ma, call Precision Digital Dentistry in Bridgewater today.