How does Smoking affect your Oral Health?
One of the main things that can affect the health of your mouth quite drastically is Smoking. If you choose to Smoke you are putting yourself at risk from numerous problems which could otherwise be avoided.
Problems caused by Smoking:
Smoking can lead to problems with your gums and teeth resulting in gum disease, tooth loss and ultimately can cause mouth cancer. One of the most noticeable effects of smoking on the teeth is staining due to the nicotine and tar in the tobacco. It can make the teeth yellow in a very short period of time, and heavy smokers often complain that their teeth are almost brown after years of smoking.
How does Smoking effect my gums and teeth:
People who smoke are more likely to have gum disease. Smoking may change the type of bacteria in dental plaque, increasing the number of bacteria that are more harmful. It also reduces the blood flow in the gums and supporting tissues of the tooth and makes them more likely to become inflamed. Smokers' gum disease will get worse more quickly than in people who do not smoke, because of the reduced blood flow smokers may not get the warning symptoms of bleeding gums as much as non-smokers. Gum disease is still the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
Is there a link between Smoking and Cancer?
Most people are aware that there is a link between Smoking, Lung and Throat cancer, but Smoking can also be a contributing factor towards Mouth Cancer as well.
What other effects can smoking have?
Smoking can also effect the taste buds in your mouth. Tobacco's chemicals are already known to cause a loss of taste in smokers, as well as structural changes to the fungiform papillae of the tongue - where taste buds are found.
What has been unknown is to what extent smokers' taste range is affected, whether it returns to normal upon quitting smoking and if so, how long that takes.
Taste buds are largely responsible for conveying sweet, sour, bitter, salty and metallic sensations. According to the Centre's for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the responsibilities of the taste system include:
- Triggering digestive systems that change secretions of saliva, stomach acid and pancreatic juices
- Enhancing feelings of pleasure and satiety when eating
- Determining quality of foods and determining "good" tasting foods from "bad" ones, which could have potential toxins.
If you are concerned about any of the effects of Smoking or are trying to give up Smoking then click on the following link for help and advise on the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/smokefree. You can also book in to see one of our fantastic dentists at Parrock Street Dental who can see you for a full check up and give you plenty of advise on Oral Health. Contact the practice on 01474 537 191.