What damage are you really doing to your gums by smoking?

What damage are you really doing to your gums by smoking?

What damage are you really doing to your gums by smoking?

 First lets start with how smoking affects your oral health. It is common knowledge that smoking causes many health problems but there is a lack of awareness for the true impact of smoking on oral health and the associated oral tissues. Smoking will lead to tooth discolouration, periodontal disease, tooth loss and more seriously can lead to oral cancer.

How does smoking affect my gums and teeth?

Patients who smoke are more likely to have gum disease because the type of bacteria in the dental plaque is changed in favour of harmful bacteria. Smoking also reduces the blood flow in the gingival tissues. Because of the reduced blood flow smokers may not get the warning symptoms of bleeding gums. Therefore, patients who smoke often do not know they have gum disease until it is too late.

Why are my teeth going yellow?

When you become a smoker not only do you get to look forward to decreased health but you also get to look forward to tooth discolouration. This is due to the nicotine and tar in the tobacco, the staining often appears on the outer surface of the teeth which is easily removed by your hygienist but if your fortunate enough it will internally discolour your teeth - so whitening will be your only option here.

How is smoking linked with cancer?

YES smoking can cause oral cancer. There are more and more cases of oral cancer each year, and thousands die every year from the disease, that is why seeing your dentist regularly is extremely important.

What can my dentist do for me?

Your dentist will carry out a regular examination to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy. At your visits they will routinely check your cheeks, tongue and throat for any signs abnormalities that may need further investigation (potential signs of oral cancer).

What does this all mean for my dental treatments?

It is best to maintain regular dental examinations and hygiene visits so your dentist and hygienist can help retain a normal standard of oral hygiene and care. 
They may also be able to put you in touch with organisations and self- help groups who will have the latest information to help you stop smoking.