4th May 2019
Warnings from your Dentist on Smoking
Smoking is a habit that lots of people maintain in the UK, as many as 6.9 million of the British public. Plenty of people know of the health risks of smoking and the implications it has on their physical health, but how many people know how it affects their dental health?
Some of the dangers of smoking and what it does to your dental health:
Smoker’s breath is often assumed to only be prevalent immediately after you’ve had a cigarette, the smoke staining your breath only until you have some chewing gum or a mint. This isn’t the case, as smoker’s breath actually lingers in the lungs. Your lungs are very spongey because they are made up of tiny membranes called bronchioles, and these bronchioles are full of air passageways. It is these passageways that the air you inhale is filtered through so the oxygen can be absorbed through their walls into the bloodstream. Unfortunately, toxins from the smoke are also absorbed into the blood this way. Smoker’s breath, though, is caused by smoke particles becoming trapped in these passageways. They are dislodged by exhaling, talking, or laughing, and they come out on your breath. This is why smoker’s breath often smells stale, but it’s older smoke that is being exhaled every time. For the benefit of your breath if nothing else, your dentist wants you to cut back on and eventually quit smoking.
Teeth and gums
The toxins in cigarette smoke lead to a lack of oxygen being absorbed into your bloodstream, which causes impaired healing in your gums. This means that your gums heal far slower than someone who doesn’t smoke, so any beginnings of gum disease or sensitivity can become much worse much more quickly. Gum disease is a major cause of adult tooth loss, so smoking could contribute massively to you losing a tooth or multiple teeth. Your dentist and dental hygienist will, upon inspection, always recommend you cutting back smoking for the sake of your gums’ health. Smoking also changes the pH balance in your mouth, leading to an increased build-up on plaque and tartar. These two signifiers of gum disease also contribute to losing teeth, which would be far easier to prevent if smoking was cut down.
Just like your skin and your hair, your teeth are porous. This means that the nicotine and tar in tobacco can seep into your teeth surfaces and causes brown-yellow discolouration when they mix with oxygen. Even e-cigarettes can cause teeth staining because of their nicotine concentration. Your dentist and dental hygienist may struggle to remove tobacco stains with teeth whitening and professional cleanings because often they have sunk deep enough into the lower levels of your teeth, and even the dentin. This may result in the need for cosmetic dentistry, let alone hygiene treatments.
Take action on your dental health
If you’d like support in quitting smoking, knowing which professional products to use, and whether you should seek professional treatments, then speak to your dentist in Maidstone. Book a dentist appointment with a member of our empathetic team at Roseacre Cottage Dental on 01622 730 548 today.