If so, you might want to consider the increased risk of these dental problems….
Whilst smoking is on the decline, it is still thought that around one in every seven of us still indulge in the habit. Despite the now well known risk to our health, it seems as though nicotine is still a difficult drug for many to kick.
What many people don’t take into consideration is that, as well as general health problems, smoking can affect your mouth in many ways, both aesthetically and medically.
Your Epsom family dentist takes a look, below, at some of the ways that smoking can have a negative impact on our teeth and oral health in general.
- Stained teeth – Perhaps the most noticeable effect on the teeth of smokers is that of discolouration. Whilst other factors such as staining foods and drinks and general ageing will gradually discolour teeth, the tell tale signs of tar stained teeth make it easier to pick out a smoker. Whilst prevention is certainly better than a cure, a teeth whitening procedure, or for bad stains dental veneers, will help to improve the appearance of affected teeth
- Gum disease – Gum disease accounts for the loss of more teeth in the UK than tooth decay. In its advanced stages, the bone which holds our teeth in position is compromised, and this can cause teeth to become loose. Smoking causes a dry mouth and also restricts blood flow to the gums, both increasing the risk of infections and gum disease. Regular brushing and flossing and dental hygienist visits can help to keep this problem in check whilst you try to stop smoking.
- Oral cancers – One of the less well known cancers, but one that can, and sometimes does, prove fatal if not detected early on. Irritation from the smoke and the chemicals in it, increase the risk of oral cancers. At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom, we monitor all aspects of your mouth during routine checks, and, if we detect any suspicious signs, we may refer you to your doctor to have your mouth checked in case these prove to be cancerous. Please note that we are not cancer experts and any referrals are precautionary.
- Sociability – With fewer and fewer people now smoking, this habit is becoming antisocial in itself. Add to that the smell of cigarette (or cigar/pipe) smoke on a person’s breath, and the fact that halitosis is more prevalent in smokers, and it is not difficult to see how a person’s social life could be affected.
- Ageing skin – Finally, it is well known that smoking causes the skin to age prematurely and can cause sunken cheeks amongst other problems. Whilst dermal fillers, available at our Epsom practice, can help to fill out the face to some degree, this is yet another reason to attempt to stop smoking.
Whether you smoke or not, regular dental checks are important. For general dental care, or to address a specific dental problem caused by smoking, please call the Clock Tower Dental Clinic on 01372 720136.