Still Smoking Cigarettes? Kick The Habit Now! Learn How Cigarette Smoking Affects Your Oral Health.

Dr. James Hallam of Laurentian Dental Centre Kitchener

Dr. James Hallam, Laurentian Dental, Kitchener

Everyone knows smoking causes lung cancer. It’s closely linked to cardio-pulmonary problems and can cause coughing fits and worsen asthma symptoms. And it’s common knowledge smoking can lead to emphysema and other chronic lung problems. Most people who smoke cigarettes are aware of these risks.

However, there’s another side effect of smoking that doesn’t get as much attention, and that’s the toll it takes on your dental health.

Woman breaking a cigarette and quitting smoking for dental health.

Break free for your dental health!

Smoking can constrict the blood flow to your mouth turning it into a breeding ground for bacteria. Not only that, but smoking also may:

  • Raise your risk of developing Oral Cancer.
  • Lengthen the time it takes to heal from oral surgery.
  • Leave you with unacceptably bad breath.
  • Result in dramatic discolouration of your teeth.
  • Severely diminish the sensations of taste and smell.

The doctors and hygienists at Laurentian Dental understand how difficult it can be to stop smoking.

Regrettably, many people don’t know how much their smoking habit can damage their dental health. When you smoke, you short-circuit your body’s autoimmune defenses. Your body will have a hard time protecting itself.

Smoking has many effects on the mouth that can lead to the weakening of gums and the development of periodontal disease.

Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk of developing oral cancer, including cancer of the tongue It also increases your risk of developing leukoplakia, leading to throat and lung cancers as well as inflammation of the salivary glands and deterioration of oral bone structures.

“While kicking the habit is the most effective way to ensure better oral health, there are some things that people who continue to smoke can do, including…”

Cigarette smoking decreases the flow of saliva in the mouth which is essential to help wash away harmful bacteria. Cigarettes limit your mouth’s ability to fight off infection, which leaves you defenseless against the bacteria produced by smoking.When your mouth can’t fight back, plaque and bacteria accumulate rapidly. Suddenly, tartar buildup becomes a major issue because your body can’t battle a potential infection.

Smokers produce more bacterial plaque in their mouths, in part because the nicotine in cigarettes causes a reduction in the amount of oxygen delivered to the soft tissue in the mouth. At the same time, nicotine also constricts blood vessels, which results in the blood circulation in your mouth decreasing sharply when you smoke.

While kicking the habit is the most effective way to ensure better oral health, there are some things that people who continue to smoke should do including:

  • Brushing, flossing and using a tongue cleaner and mouthwash on a regular basis, twice daily.
  • Using a toothbrush with stiffer bristles that is better targeted for troublesome areas.
  • Using a fluoride toothpaste that is formulated for smokers.
  • Maintain regular semi-annual dental check-ups where we can closely watch for symptoms of periodontal diseases and perform oral cancer screenings.

Yours for better dental health,

Put Your Best Smile Forward!

Visit Laurentian Dental Today for Your Optimal Dental Health.