Tobacco smoking and dental health
More and more people are aware of the harms related to tobacco smoking over the human organism. Tobacco smoking can cause several medical problems, and in some cases, it can cause fatal diseases. What type of damage does it cause over your oral health? Read in the following lines.
Tobacco smoking can lead to tooth staining, bad breath (halitosis), it builds up the plaque and tartat, loss of taste and smell, reduced blood supply to the tissues of the oral cavity, disease of the gum, reduced healing after tooth extractions and other dental surgical manipulations, loss of teeth, and increased risk of oral cancer.
Why does tobacco smoking cause tooth coloring?
One of the effects caused by tobacco smoking is tooth staining, due to the nicotine and tar contained in the tobacco. The teeth look yellow, if you have been a smoker for many years, they may even turn brown.
How does tobacco smoking lead to disease of the gums?
Smoking of tobacco products can lead to disease of the gums, by affecting the attachment of the soft and hard tissues to your teeth, and this undoubtedly is an obstacle in the normal function of the gum cells. This makes the smokers more liable to infections like gingivitis or periodontitis, also it disturbs the blood flow to the gums, which can impact the healing process of wounds, caused by surgical involvement in the oral cavity.
People who use tobacco products are more liable to bacterial plaque. Gums are directly affected, due to smoking causing lack of oxygen in the blood and leading to the gingivitis being inflamed. This leads to more tooth plaque and worsens the already existing gum diseases in a faster manner in comparison to nonsmokers.
If immediate action is not taken, the gum disease is the most common cause for loss of teeth in elderly people.
What is the risk of developing cancer caused using tobacco products?
Most people know that tobacco can cause lung and throat cancer, but many people still do not know that tobacco is of one of the main causes of oral cavity cancer. Nearly 90% of people with mouth, tongue or throat cancer have used tobacco products. The risk of developing an oncological disease is six times more likely in comparison to people who do not use tobacco products.
Oral cancer involves the gradual mutation of the healthy cells in the mouth and can occur in a variety of ways. A study in the Californian university shows that 8 to 10 patients with cancer of the oral cavity are smokers. Every time a smoker breath in the tobacco smoke, the harmful chemicals first travel through the mouth and the throat, and then they reach the lungs. Over time and with repeated use they will cause changes and alterations in the oral cavity, which can lead to oral cancer.
The good news is that all of this can be avoided if you give up the unhealthy habit of smoking and regularly visit your dentist for control check-ups.
Is the use of cigarettes the only harmful thing for our oral health or does this apply for all tobacco products?
Here the answer is a definite one. In addition to cigarettes, pipes and cigars can also cause harm to the oral cavity and the body. According to a 23-year long research, publishes in the Journal of American Dental Association, smokers of other tobacco products suffer from loss of teeth and alveolar bone loss equivalent to that of smokers.
Besides these risks, smokers of pipes and cigars are still exposed to oral and pharynx (throat) cancer- even if they do not breath in the smoke. In the use of pipes or cigars you may also suffer from bad breath, tooth stain, higher risk of gingivitis, periodontitis, and oncological diseases of the oral cavity.
What are the advantages of stopping tobacco smoking?
The benefits of stopping tobacco smoking are a lot, even immediately after you stop the bad habit. What will improve?
- Your breath will be fresh.
- Blood pressure will normalize, due to smokers having high blood pressure in most cases.
- Your smell and taste sensors will improve.
- Your breathing will become easier.
- You will lower the risk of fatal diseases.
- In the space of a couple of hours, the carbon monoxide in your blood will lower. Carbon monoxide disturbs the blood from distributing enough oxygen.
- In the space of a couple of weeks, the cough caused by the tobacco use will decrease. Your organism will produce less sputum, also you will not have wheezing as often.
- After a couple to months you will notice extreme improvements in lung function.
Giving up tobacco smoking lowers the risk of developing cancer, heart problems and lung diseases like chronical obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). According to National Health Interview Survey in the USA, the death rate caused by diseases linked to tobacco smoking are rarer with people who have stopped smoking at a certain period of their lifetime.