How Smoking Affects Your Oral Health

oral cancerSmoking…yes, it can be hard to quit. But it’s important to know that besides heart and lung problems, there are oral health concerns that can be directly linked to smoking. If you are a smoker, we strongly advise you to quit or at least cut back to prevent health and oral health concerns.

How does smoking affect your oral health?
First and most intimately, smoking directly and negatively impacts your breath. Additionally, the nicotine in cigarettes causes your teeth to become yellow and stained. In more serious cases, smoking can impact your gums by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. More specifically, it appears that smoking can interfere with the normal function of gum tissue cells. This interference makes smokers more susceptible to infections, such as periodontal disease and potential tooth loss. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, smoking can lead to various cancers of the mouth and throat. Pipe and cigar smokers are not immune to these concerns, especially oral and throat cancers, even if they don’t inhale.

Quitting is a journey. A path. You can do it, but “Ya Gotta Wanna.”
With proper guidance and determination, you can quit smoking. One trick that seems to work for many people is to remove the triggers that influence smoking, such as that morning cup of coffee or a drink at the bar. You can also consider using e-cigarettes, which have helped smokers gradually quit the habit. Most of all, when crafting a quit-smoking plan, make sure you have the support of family and friends.

Whether you smoke or not, practicing proper oral hygiene and visiting your dentist twice each year for regular checkups are essential to oral health. Why twice a year? Because that gives us the opportunity to diagnose any potential problems early and begin necessary treatments.

Call to schedule an appointment, today, especially if you have concerns about your oral health: 973-328-1225.

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