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Smoking And Your Oral Health

We all know that smoking is not good for us, and our long term health can suffer many ill effects as a result of the habit, but did you know that it can also have severe and long-lasting effects on the health of your mouth?

What Harm Can Smoking Really Do?

Unfortunately, the long list of health complaints associated with smoking is not an exaggeration or a myth. There are many very harmful effects that commonly arise when smoking and it’s important to be aware of these to allow you to make an informed decision about continuing to smoke versus getting help to give up the habit.

If you choose to continue smoking, it’s vital that you’re aware of potential health concerns so that you know what to look out for if a serious health problem is developing. It’s also essential that you visit your dentist regularly for check ups, and don’t shirk your dental care routine as this will make any problems more severe and harder to spot.

Six Oral Health Problems Caused by Smoking:

  1. Oral cancer. Cancers of the mouth, tongue, lips, gums and throat are much more common in smokers, with drinking heavily also implicated as a risk factor. Oral cancers can be harder to diagnose so are often undiscovered until they are very advanced, making a negative prognosis much more likely.

  2. Gum disease. Smoking causes you to produce more bacterial plaque in your mouth, which means your gums are dealing with more on a daily bases. Smokers also have lower levels of oxygen in their blood, so healing is a slower process. Gum disease progresses much more rapidly in people who smoke.

  3. Cavities. You’re at higher risk for tooth decay if you smoke, as you’ll have more plaque and more gum problems than people who do not smoke. In fact, your risk of developing cavities is three times higher than a non-smoker.

  4. Bad breath. The surfaces of your mouth will be a hotbed of chemicals if you’re smoking on a regular basis, and your mouth will also be drier than a non-smokers’ mouth. Not surprisingly, then, smokers have much higher incidences of bad breath than their squeaky clean mouthed friends!

  5. Stained teeth. We’ve all seen the yellow nicotine stains that grace the teeth – and fingers – of habitual smokers. It’s not pretty and as the years pass, the discolouration can seep into tiny cracks in the tooth enamel and become irreversible.

  6. Affected senses of taste and smell. Smoking can influence your perception of taste and smell, causing food to taste duller and flavourless. The effect, however, can be temporary and you may find that your taste buds return to normal if you stop smoking.

Visit Your Family Dentist in Cork

If you’re searching for a dentist in Cork who can take care of your oral health and give you support to stop smoking, look no further than Guiney Dental Clinic, where our experts are on hand to help! Call today on 021-481 0535.


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