Most people are now aware that tobacco is harmful to their health.
It can cause a variety of medical problems and, in some cases, fatal diseases.
This is why, on May 31st, the World Health Organisation has declared World No Tobacco Day, with this year’s focus on the multiple ways that exposure to tobacco affects the health of people’s lungs worldwide.
However, many people don’t realise the damage tobacco that smoking does to their mouth, gums, and teeth, not just to their lungs.
Which is why, in the hopes that it will help our patients decide to quit using tobacco, Your Gold Coast Dentist is chiming in this year with this post on how tobacco use can harm your health.
The short version is that smoking can lead to tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss, and even mouth cancer. Let’s take a look.
How Tobacco Products Can Harm Your Health
The Australian government says:
Smoking brings obvious aesthetic issues, including stains and odour (after all, tobacco smells, and it is well known that its smoke can stain fingers and walls).
Beyond aesthetics, smoking can lead to a diminished sense of taste. Smoking dramatically heightens the risk of gum disease and tooth loss.
Smoking slows healing after treatment, surgery or trauma. Most troubling, smoking can cause oral cancer.
These threats are from All tobacco products. Smoked, chewed, and snorted tobacco products can affect your appearance, leading to yellow fingers, thickened and discoloured gums, and unsightly facial wrinkling.
The chance of premature wrinkling rises the longer you smoke, and the more you do it.
Perhaps 20% of Australians suffer from gum disease, and smoking is a substantial contributor to that number.
Smoking can also cause tooth sensitivity, increased tartar buildup, and tooth loss.
Smoking increases the chance of gum disease by six times and increases the severity of gum disease at the same rate.
Smoking can complicate dental treatment as well as causing it. Smoking can delay the healing of any injured tissues in the mouth, such as ulcers, or healing following oral surgery.
Cigar smokers are also at increased risk of periodontal disease, staining of the teeth and tongue as well as bad breath.
Use of chewing tobacco (“smokeless” tobacco, or “chew”) is also harmful, as the juice it creates in the mouth is brimming with carcinogens, sugar, and particulate matter that can cause cancer, decay, and grind down your teeth.
How bad is the problem?
In Australia, just over half of oral cancers in women are caused by tobacco use, as well as sixty per cent of oral cancers in men.
Simply quitting can dramatically reduce the risk of oral cancer. After a decade, oral cancer rates drop to nearly those of nonsmokers.
Quitting tobacco quickly improves your general dental health. Soon after stopping, for instance, your sense of taste returns. Similar decreases can be found, over time, with most other issues caused by tobacco.
The Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Quitting tobacco use has immediate health benefits and dramatically reduces the risk of tobacco-related diseases, whatever the person’s age.
- Lost ability to taste and smell. Luckily, taste and smell numbing effects start to fade only two days after your last cigarette.
- Gum disease. Smokers with gum disease who quit smoking experienced a significant improvement in their gum disease within one year of quitting. Quitting smoking, together with routine gum treatment, also results in healthier gums.
- Oral cancer risks drop. The risk of developing oral cancer decreases significantly the moment you stop using tobacco products, and over 10 to 20 years, your risk gradually reduces to that of a lifelong nonsmoker.
For smokers, it is necessary to have regular visits to Your Gold Coast Dentist, to look for and treat any problems that may arise due to tobacco use.
We can also give you advice on where to learn ways to quit your tobacco use!
Quitting tobacco can dramatically increase the health of your gums and teeth. Just cutting back on tobacco use can have a significant and quick effect.
And at Your Gold Coast Dentist, we can help restore your damaged teeth and gums with our cutting edge preventative and restorative treatments.
Give us a call, and we’ll schedule, at your convenience, a consultation on cessation and treatment options, and help you take that first step back to the road to oral health.
Getting The Most From Your Gold Coast Dentist!
Your Gold Coast Dentist is your perfect dentist in the Parkwood area. Our practice combines high levels of skill with the most advanced dental techniques and years of successful experience.
We give the highest level of quality and comfort for patients of all kinds.
From routine checkups to the most complicated procedures, Your Gold Coast Dentist can treat you and your family with the care and respect you deserve!
Gold Coast dentist is also serving the local communities in Parkwood, Southport, Arundel, Ashmore, Biggera Waters, Bundall, Labrador, Moledinar, Runaway Bay, Oxenford, Helensvale and Benowa.