You may have heard that smoking tobacco is bad for your mouth, but you may not know exactly why. It is not just the bad breath and teeth staining that makes smoking horrible for your oral health, but smoking tobacco can truly destroy the health of your mouth in much more serious ways. Here are three of the many reasons to stop smoking for not only the health of your lungs and heart, but for your oral health too.
1. Smokers Lose Teeth More Often
One of the newest discoveries about how bad smoking is for your mouth concluded that smokers are much more likely to lose teeth in their lifetimes. Compared to non-smokers, tobacco smokers have a 2.5 to 3.6 times greater chance of losing teeth. Also, those teeth cannot be easily replaced by dental implants, as smokers who obtain dental implants are more likely to suffer implant failure.
2. Smoking Causes Gum Disease and Hides the Symptoms
If you smoke right now but plan to quit when you begin having negative health consequences from it, then realize you could have gum disease right now and not even know it. Gum disease in smokers is caused by the chemicals in smoke interfering with the ability of cells in gum tissue to perform their "jobs" correctly. This interference leads to a less secure connection of your gums to your teeth, and a general decline in the ability of your gum cells to ward off infection.
Meanwhile, while you continue to smoke, the nicotine in tobacco is interfering with blood flow to your gums as it interferes with blood flow to your other organs and tissues. This then masks the signs of gum disease, as they won't bleed like they do in non-smokers who develop gum disease.
This can lead to suffering from gum disease for years before you or your dentist realize you have it, and the disease will have then progressed to the point where it cannot be eliminated easily.
3. Smoking Tobacco Also Causes Oral Cancer
If you think that only chewing tobacco contributes to oral cancer development, then think again. Studies have shown that tobacco smokers have a much higher chance of developing oral cancer at some point in their lives.
If you smoke and drink alcohol, then your chances of getting oral cancer increase even further, as 70 to 95 percent of people who develop oral cancer drink alcohol and smoke. The suspected reasoning for this is that since anything in the presence of alcohol is absorbed by human tissue more easily, drinking alcohol and smoking together allows more chemicals in cigarettes to absorb into oral tissues.
If you think smoking tobacco only stains your teeth and gives you bad breath, then realize that smoking is actually much more detrimental to your oral health than you think. Work with your dentist as you quit smoking to help reverse the damage smoking has done to your mouth already.
Contact a center like Stoney Mountain Dental Care for more information.