The 31st of May is World No Tobacco Day. World No Tobacco Day is an initiative of the World Health Organization, and it highlights the risks associated with tobacco consumption and argues for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
Though this year’s focus is on lung cancer and other diseases of the lungs, at Captivate Dental, we’d like to emphasise that using tobacco is also quite destructive to your oral health, bringing problems ranging from bad breath to potentially fatal oral cancer.
Why is tobacco so dangerous?
Simply put, it kills. The government fights back against tobacco use by mandating graphic health warnings, plain packaging, increased taxes, and increased spending on initiatives to reduce tobacco usage, but there is still a significant problem with tobacco use in Australia.
This is despite reduced consumption and heightened awareness of the health problems related to tobacco use. Let’s consider what some of these health problems are.
#1 Bad breath, stained teeth, and unsightly gums
Smoking can lessen your sense of taste and smell. This makes it more difficult for you to tell you have bad breath, which smoking can cause.
The tar from cigarette smoke discolours your teeth; leads to bad breath, and can discolour your tongue.
The only way to eliminate these stains is a professional cleaning treatment in the dentist’s office.
Finally, smoking can lead to the appearance of thickened gums, and discolouration ranging from yellowing to gums that appear purple.
#2 Gum disease
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and bone surrounding the teeth. It is the result of a build-up of oral bacteria, and it can lead to severe problems culminating in lost teeth.
Studies indicate that smokers have substantially more risk of gum disease than those who do not smoke.
Smoking interferes with your immune system in several ways, and that makes it difficult for your body to fight off health issues like gum infections.
#3 More Complicated or Failed Dental Treatments
Treatment for gum disease may not have the same outcomes for smokers. Smoking makes it harder for your gums to heal.
The bodily healing process relies greatly on oxygen that is carried by the blood. Smoking makes it harder for the bloodstream to transport blood to various parts of the body.
Smoking can also make restorative procedures more complicated or impossible. Finally, smoking can also slow healing from oral injuries.
#4 Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the gradual genetic mutation of healthy cells into malignant ones and can occur in several ways. Smoking plays a substantial role in the many cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year.
A study from the University of California demonstrated that 8 out of 10 patients with oral cancer were smokers.
Each time you inhale, the carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals in tobacco smoke pass through your mouth and throat before reaching your lungs (where they also wreak havoc).
Given time and repeat exposure, these carcinogenic chemicals cause changes to the cells in your oral cavity, which can lead to oral cancer.
This is a preventable disease and is more treatable the earlier it is detected.
By avoiding smoking and other high-risk behaviours such as too much alcohol, and having regular dental check-ups, you can fight oral cancer before it occurs.
The nicotine cigarettes contain is exceptionally addictive; this is why quitting isn’t easy.
However, if you are a smoker, quitting is an essential step in improving your dental and overall health.
Because quitting is challenging, many people need support. Don’t hesitate to talk to us at Captivate Dental about your desire to stop smoking.
We have suggestions for techniques to quit, and groups that can help you quit. As you work on quitting, it is vital to keep your mouth and teeth as clean as possible.
Brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily prevents tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Even more important, if you do smoke, you must visit your Captivate Dental dentist as often as recommended.
We can help you keep your teeth, gums, bones, and oral tissues as healthy as possible. During check-ups, we can inspect for the first signs of oral cancer.
This is important as the earlier oral cancer is detected, the earlier it can be treated.
Remember, it’s never too late to quit using tobacco products!
Complete Dental Care at Captivate Dental!
Captivate Dental is located in Moorabbin near Brighton (near Kingston City Hall and Moorabbin Station). We provide the highest quality care and enable patients to make informed choices.
Our caring, competent staff gives value through excellent diagnostic skills and efficient use of highest-quality materials.
Captivate Dental offers a wide range of preventative, restorative and cosmetic dental treatment for kids, seniors, and all ages between!
To accommodate busy schedules, we offer Saturday hours as well as after-hour visits on Wednesday, by appointment.
GAP FREE Promotions for our New Patients
No Gap Initial Examination, Clean, Fluoride treatment and 2x Xrays for all Private Health Insurance Dental coverage.
We re located at 46 Station Street in Moorabbin.