Smoking impacts your oral health more evidently as compared to many other habits. There are a number of issues which are related to smoking. Dentists often ask if you smoke because
- Smoking can influence the outcomes of various dental treatments
- It may be the reason behind certain diseases in your mouth
- Smoking, in general, is not a healthy habit to practice. But it first upsets your oral health before it starts disturbing your general health
Smoking is one of the Leading causes of tooth loss: Smoking is a leading cause of tooth loss. It reduces the flow of saliva in the mouth. Reduced saliva means dry mouth which means less fluid to flush clean the food and bacteria from the mouth. When there is reduced saliva, there is an increased number of gum diseases and decay which inevitably leads to tooth loss.
Delayed healing: Smoking impacts blood flow and normal function of the mouth. When there is reduced blood flow, there is a lesser availability of clotting factors. When a person who smokes has any kind of oral surgery like tooth extraction, gum surgery or implant surgery. The healing of the injury takes a longer period. Sometimes it may not heal properly and the dentist needs to prescribe aids to heal it. For Implant surgeries, smoking can influence the success rate of implants.
Increased tartar builds up: Smoking leads to increased buildup of tartar and plaque on the teeth. Even regular brushing doesn’t reduce hard tartar deposits. Increased tartar in the mouth causes bad breath and also impacts the appearance of the person.
Gum diseases: Due to increased tartar build-up, there is increased vulnerability of gums to bleed. Bleeding gums is the first stage of gum disease. If the person doesn’t stop smoking, it furthers the disease process and multiplies the destruction of gums around the teeth. When gums are destroyed, the tooth becomes mobile. If not attended timely, mobile teeth are usually routed to extraction.
Oral cancer: Smoking doesn’t only cause lung cancer, it is also a leading cause of oral cancers. Oral cancer is the deadliest of cancers because there is an increased number of people who die due to it. It is one of the most common cancers in India due to a large number of people who smoke.
White lesions: Smoking also causes other oral diseases such as leukoplakia which are white patches or lesions of the skin or the soft tissues. Leukoplakia and other oral diseases can also change into cancer cells.
Yellow teeth: Smoking changes the teeth color and causes yellowish to brownish stains on the teeth which makes a person highly conscious of their smiles.
Implant failure: Dental Implants in persons who smoke fail to thrive due to a reduced bond of the implant with the bone of the patient. Smoking as said earlier, delays healing of the surgical site. Decreased blood flow in bone and gums makes it difficult for the implant to survive due to failure of the bone to grow and circumscribe it.
A dentist can always tell when you lie about smoking after seeing the condition of your mouth. It is always better to quit smoking for good health and a brighter smile.