Many of us have done it before at some point of our lives. Taken a puff or two. However, not many of us realize exactly what cigarettes can do to our oral hygiene and healthcare. We all know smoking is bad for you, but just how bad is it?
Besides the fact that smoking contributes to yellow teeth, bad breath, and gum disease; smoking contributes to a whole other spectrum of health issues as well. For example, studies show that smoking causes inflammation in salivary gland openings on the roof of your mouth, increases loss of bone in the jaw, lowers the success rate of dental implant procedures, delays the healing process following tooth extraction, periodontal treatment, or oral surgery, and increases the risk of oral cancer. Yet so many people still smoke despite exposing themselves to these risks. Maybe it’s because not many people believe that this is truly the case.
To debunk anyone who may be in denial, let us explain how smoking leads to gum disease. Smoking interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells. These cells are responsible for wound healing. With these cells impaired, infections and other oral ailments are impaired and cannot heal as well as they should be able too. The Journal of the American Dental Association even performed a 23 year long study on oral healthcare and smokers. Their evidence suggests that those who smoke not only experienced tooth loss at an alarming rate compared to non-smokers, they also experienced jawbone loss as well. This includes all smokers whether it’s cigarettes, cigars, or pipes.
Therefore, let’s keep this in mind for the next time one of you reaches for a cigar or cigarette. Let’s protect that smile instead of harming it.