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Stained Smiles and Gum Disease: Why Smoking is Seriously Bad News for Your Dental Health

These days, the health risks associated with smoking are well documented.

Thanks to the thought-provoking campaigns on the television and even on the cigarette packets themselves, most people are familiar with the major illnesses and diseases that accompany smoking; including, of course, lung cancer and other associated conditions.

Most people are well aware of the harm smoking does to the lungs, but chances are that not many people will realise the impact it can have in the mouth. It’s one of the more commonly overlooked side-effects, yet it can have a serious detrimental effect on your health.

Smoking and Your Oral Health: Stating the Obvious

Much attention is given to the impact on the lungs, but the simple fact is that your mouth is no less at risk. It’s the first point of contact for the smoke; which passes through the teeth, around the gums and all around the mouth, before travelling down to the lungs.

Smoking: The Effects on Your Teeth, Gums and Mouth

  • Bad breath (Halitosis). One of the more obvious, not to mention undesirable effects of smoking is bad breath. However, when compared to other side-effects of smoking, this is relatively superficial, albeit somewhat socially embarrassing!
  • Stained teeth. Another superficial, but no less distressing side-effect of smoking is staining on the teeth. Instead of having a fresh, white smile, you’ll present the world with brown-tinted teeth, which has an instantly aging effect. There are treatments available to whiten teeth at Guiney Dental in Ballincollig if this has already happened to you.
  • Bone loss within the jaw. If you smoke for a protracted length of time, this can contribute to bone loss within the jaw itself.
  • Oral cancer. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the only cancer to worry about when it comes to smoking is lung cancer. Oral cancer is a particularly unpleasant form of cancer, and can result in significant pain, bleeding lips, sores within the mouth itself and swallowing problems.

Periodontal Disease: A Common Side-Effect of Smoking

Periodontal disease is one of the most common conditions associated with smoking; indeed, 75% of all periodontal disease sufferers are also smokers. Symptoms include gum recession (where gums literally pull back from the teeth), loose teeth and bacterial growth within the gums themselves. This can cause unpleasant sensitivity in the teeth, discomfort in the gums and even pain.

Avoiding Periodontal Disease and Other Conditions Associated with Smoking

Of course, it’s highly likely that you’ll want to avoid getting periodontal disease, or indeed any of the other conditions associated with smoking. The best possible course of action to take is to give up smoking. However, this is sometimes difficult, and it’s important to remember that there are local support groups, ready to help you make the transition.

In the meantime, it’s important to book an appointment with your Guiney Dental in Ballincollig, in order to have a thorough examination of your teeth. If periodontal disease, or indeed any other problems are detected, your dentist will be able to provide the right treatment to help restore your mouth to good health.


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