14th March 2019
A dentist’s warning about smoking
Your dental health directly correlates to what comes into contact with your teeth and gums and how long its left to linger there. For example, when your teeth are coated in sugar and this is left uncleaned it forms plaque, and when tannins in coffee come into contact with your teeth they can stain. It’s not often that the harmfulness of smoking is viewed in relation to your dental health, but your dentist wants you to know that it is doing you a lot of harm.
It’s estimated that around 9.4 million adults in the UK smoke, and that separately almost every adult in the UK is experiencing or has experienced some form of gum disease. With this is mind, let’s explore why your dentist wants you to give up smoking.
What smoking does to your…
Gums. Smoking tobacco causes different chain reactions in your mouth, one of those being the lack of oxygen in your bloodstream. This leads to gums not being able to heal properly or quickly. This is why smoking can so often lead to tooth loss, because it can accelerate any minor signs of gum disease into worryingly severe cases. Your gums can worsen in much shorter time than a non-smoker’s would, and they’ll be very slow to heal should anything happen to them.
Teeth. Another of the chain reactions smoking sets off in your mouth is the imbalance in pH levels it causes. This imbalance in your mouth’s pH leads to the increased risk of build-up of plaque which, if left untreated, hardens into tartar. Tartar needs professional removal and can irritate your gums enough to cause tooth loss and severe gum disease.
Breath. Your lungs are made up of tiny membranes called bronchioles that each inhale passes through so that they may filter the oxygen through to the alveolus, where it is absorbed into your blood. Your bronchioles are made up of lots of tiny passageways and air holes that makes them spongey, so naturally when you inhale your smoke it passes through these chambers too. Smoke particles can get stuck in these air holes and therefore taint your breath when they are shaken loose with exhales, speaking, and laughing. Smoker’s breath can often smell stale because this smoke becomes old in these passageways.
Risk of mouth cancer. Your risk of developing mouth cancer is astronomically heightened with regular smoking. According to the NHS, approximately 90% of people with cancer in the mouth, tongue, lips, and throat currently use or have frequently used tobacco. Your dentist will help you learn the signs of mouth cancer, but the best way to prevent its onset is to limit your smoking and even quit.
Visit your dentist
Visiting your dentist in London could help you quit smoking altogether with lifestyle support and advice. We can help you identify warning signs such as receding gums, tartar build-up, and even the signs of mouth cancer so that you can stay fully informed of your developing dental health. It’s very important you don’t avoid an appointment with your dentist in London, because its these missed opportunities to treat something before it comes irreparable that make all the difference.