There has been a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking. While this campaign has certainly increased awareness about the impact smoking has on your physical health, it hasn’t raised enough awareness about the damage smoking can cause to your oral health.
If you are a current smoker it is important you understand what smoking tobacco cigarettes is doing to your teeth, gums, and mouth. Understanding the oral health problems that are caused by smoking just might give you the push you need to quit this bad habit.
The Unique Oral Health Problems Smokers Encounter
Smokers experience very unique oral health problems that can be directly linked to their use of tobacco cigarettes.
Some of the dental problems smokers may encounter include:
- Increased buildup of plaque and tartar that can lead to cavities and tooth loss
- Increased occurrence of exposed tooth root which leads to painful eating and sensitivity to hot and cold
- Increased likelihood that you will develop an infection in the teeth, gums, or mouth due to a suppressed immune system
- Inability to quickly heal after a complex dental procedure such as oral surgery or wisdom tooth extraction
- Some treatment options, such as treatment used for periodontal disease, may be less effective
- Teeth can become thin and brittle
- Teeth will develop a yellow or brown color
- Inflammation can lead to the swelling of salivary glands in the mouth
- Increased risk of developing oral cancer
What can Dentists Do for Smokers?
Dentists can certainly still treat smokers, but even when using the most advanced dental equipment and treatments, some dental problems may still persist if you continue to smoke. It is recommended that if you want a healthier smile, you must quit smoking. If you continue to smoke, you will keep experiencing the same dental problems and may even experience new problems.
Can Damage from Smoking be Fixed?
Some of the problems caused by smoking, such as discolored teeth and inflamed gums, can be reversed after you have stopped smoking. Other problems, such as your risk for developing cancer, can be dramatically reduced.
Steps to Take to Quit Smoking
Smoking is one of the hardest habits to break. The body craves the nicotine which can cause withdrawal symptoms and even encourages you to want to pick the habit back up. Luckily, there are several resources and support tools you can use to help you stop smoking.
Some of the resources and support tools that can help you stop smoking include:
- Peer support groups
- Individual counseling
- Prescription medication that help curve the craving for nicotine
- Nicotine patches, gums, and lozenges
- Prescription nicotine sprays and inhalers
Your healthcare provider is a great resource you can use to discuss the best ways to quit smoking. They provide you not only with advice, but they can make recommendations for tools to use to stop smoking, write prescriptions for smoking cessation aids, and connect you with community resources that help you quit.
Want Healthy Teeth Now? Schedule a Visit with Dr. Tiffany K. Shields
If you are a current smoker, don’t wait until you quit smoking to see a dentist. Make an appointment today. Seeing a dentist while you are smoking can help you assess your current oral health and receive important treatment for existing dental problems.
While you can schedule an appointment with almost any dentist, if you’re a smoker you may want to consider making an appointment with a holistic dentist like Dr. Tiffany K. Shields at Smiles by Shields in Jacksonville, Florida. Holistic dentists believe that the best way to improve your oral health is by focusing not just on existing problems, but focusing on your overall health and wellness.
As a holistic dentist, Dr. Tiffany K. Shields will help encourage you to quit smoking as it will improve not only your physical health, but your emotional and oral health, too. Call Smiles by Shields today to schedule an appointment. We cannot wait to work with you to get you a healthier smile.