A universal fact known by all is that ‘Smoking is bad for health’. But do you know that smoking or the intake of tobacco not only damages your lungs but also your teeth. It weakens, constricting the blood flow towards your mouth and can also turn it into a breeding ground for bacteria. Not just that, but smoking also leads to foul breath, a diminishing sense of taste and discoloring of teeth. Apart from this, smoking can hinder your immune system and increase risk of oral cancer. As a side effect, it also lengthens the time to heal from an oral surgery, which is closely associated to gum or periodontal diseases, leading to tooth inflammation. This results in irritation which eventually leads to tooth loss.
What are the effects of smoking on teeth?
- Bleeding gums
- Dry mouth
- Tooth decay
- Hardening of plaque.
Excess smoking could lead to-
- Loss of teeth
- Greater requirement of root canal.
Why is tobacco bad for your gums?
Due to smoking, more bacterial plaque is produced in the mouth because nicotine as an ingredient of cigarettes causes reduction in the amount of oxygen reaching soft tissues of our mouth. It also constricts blood vessels which, in the long run, can diagnose some gum diseases due to which gums bleed. It is always precautionary to visit a dentist if you are diagnosed with any such gum diseases because the situation can worsen, leading to depletion of your health.
What are the effects of smoking on gums?
- Tenderness and redness
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Loosening of teeth
- Pus oozing out of teeth
- Pain while chewing
- Receding gum line.
The above are signs of periodontal diseases that need immediate attention from a doctor. They might treat you through the following procedures:
- Anti-microbial mouthwash
- Flap surgery to remove tartar from pockets beneath gums
- Bone surgery
- Oral antibiotics
- Doxycycline gel
- Grafting soft tissues.
Gum disease prevention
To prevent gum disease or tooth problems, the best way out is to quit smoking. Although, chain smokers could start reducing the intake of cigarettes while maintaining oral hygiene. Daily flossing and brushing, gargling after every meal and regular dental checkups is a must. This way, one can if not reduce, control the damage caused by smoking.
Are e- Cigarettes- beneficial or harmful?
Over the years, e-cigarettes have gained a lot of popularity. It is believed to be a safer alternative to smoking tobacco. Proponents claim they drastically reduce the risk of cancer and pulmonary diseases while helping many people quit a habit they never thought they could give up. But the debate on whether e-cigarettes are less harmful than the ones with tobacco is a never ending question since there are no medical proofs to support either. There has not been a lot of research on the topic. While the clear advantage is to reduce the use of tobacco, which will eventually drop the risk of developing oral cancer, there could be other problems tied to e-cigarettes or vaping that have not yet been discovered. Though, the only complaint regarding e-cigarettes is that it causes dryness in the mouth, you cannot merely depend on it.
It may take a few years to conclude whether e-cigarettes are a better and safer alternative. Till then, the smartest way out is to avoid smoking. Maintain healthy mouth hygiene and visit your dentist regularly. A healthy mouth leads to a healthy lifestyle. You can also visit one of the best dental clinic in Pune– Dental Sphere, located on Mukund Nagar and F.C road.