Have you promised yourself to look after your health better? Have you been trying to quit smoking but just can’t quite push yourself to do it? Did you know that smoking is also bad for your oral health?
Well here are some reasons why this is the perfect time to quit:
- Smoking increases your chance of developing gum disease by up to 80%. Gum disease can cause the gums and bone to recede from around the teeth, making them loose and eventually may lead to tooth loss. Gum disease can be difficult to pick up in smokers, as the usual gum inflammation and bleeding may not be apparent due to poor blood supply from smoking.
- Smoking can slow down healing in the mouth, again due to poor blood supply. Smokers are more likely to suffer from painful infections after surgery or having a tooth taken out (called dry socket). They are also more predisposed to long-lasting ulcers and sores in the mouth that would otherwise heal quickly.
- Smoking reduces the quality and quantity of saliva in the mouth, which usually acts to protect the teeth. Without saliva’s buffering protective action teeth are more prone to cavities (decay).
- Smoking is twice as likely to lead to oral cancers, which can progress quickly in the mouth and be deadly
- Smoking causes bad breath due to toxins in the cigarettes themselves and from lack of saliva (which is needed to flush all the bad bacteria and toxins out of your mouth)
- Smoking causes severe discolouration and staining of the teeth, which can be difficult to remove
As many people are switching to e-cigarettes (vaping), thinking it will do less damage, more and more research is showing that it actually may be just as harmful.
- Some vapes still include nicotine, thus many of the toxins causing the issues in conventional cigarettes.
- Vaping has been shown to cause viscous, tacky saliva, which may stop the good bacteria from putting up a fight and provide a natural immune/defensive response in the mouth.
- Vapes also contain many heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals, long-term implications of which are still not fully known.
- Large percentage of those who vape end up switching to conventional smoking.
So as you can see the best option is to quit smoking/vaping altogether! It is not easy to do, but your body (and mouth) will thank you in the end – just think of your beautiful, healthy pearly whites and fresh breath as your reward!