Its common knowledge that smoking is terrible for your overall health. When you really think about it, it’s your oral health that gets affected first. After all, it’s the first part of your body that the smoke, tar, and all those other chemicals hit first.
According to the American Cancer Society, the most serious illness caused by smoking that is directly related to dental health is oral cancer. Studies have shown that over 90% of people who have any form of oral cancer are smokers, and that people who smoke are six times more likely to contract the disease than non-smokers.
Smoking also affects the gums, and can cause periodontal disease. It starts out as gum discoloration, and the more tar particles that build up in your gum tissue, the more likely you will get periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can lead to a whole array of dental issues such as loose teeth and extractions.
Eventually, your gums will become inflamed, which causes the bones underneath to become infected. Tooth deterioration and loss are inevitable for heavy smokers.
Another important effect to consider is the inevitable yellowing of the teeth and the constant cigarette breath. Those two factors alone are aesthetically unpleasant, not to mention that smoking increases a build up or tartar and plaque around the teeth.
In general, no form of tobacco is safe. It doesn’t matter whether you’re chewing, smoking, or inhaling your tobacco; if your mouth is in regular contact with tobacco, it is dangerous and can cause cancer. The most effective way to prevent oral cancer is to not smoke or use tobacco.
While it is difficult for most smokers to quit, it is a personal achievement that will reward you for a long time to come. Not only will you live a longer, happier life, but you’ll enjoy a great white smile and fresh breath as well. You now know how smoking negatively impacts your oral health and we hope this helps you make the commitment to quit. By simply quitting smoking, smokers, can, over time, reduce their risk levels and the sooner one quits, the greater the reduction in risk levels.