These days, nobody would ever try to convince you that smoking is good for your health. But many people don’t realize the extent of the damage that smoking can cause throughout your entire body. Most people know about the risks of lung cancer and heart disease that are associated with smoking, but did you know how smoking can also wreak havoc on your oral health?
1. Smoking is a leading risk factor for oral cancer.
Oral cancer is a particularly dangerous form of cancer, and it’s important to catch it early. Your Hillsboro family dentists perform an oral cancer screening at each of your examinations, which is just one of the reasons why you should be scheduling an exam with us every six months.
2. Smoking stains your teeth.
If you’ve seen the smile of a long-term smoker, you know what we’re talking about. Smoking causes yellow and brown discolorations on your teeth that brushing alone can’t clear away. If you’ve recently quit smoking, treat yourself to a teeth-whitening treatment at our Hillsboro dental office to celebrate your new-found freedom.
3. Smoking often leads to periodontal disease.
Smoking changes the way that individual cells function. Eventually, cells start separating from the bone, opening the way for bacterial infections – gum disease. When you smoke, gum disease is likely to progress into advanced periodontitis faster and is much more difficult to treat. In the end, you may lose teeth, and you’ll spend a lot of time and money trying to keep your smile intact.
4. Smoking causes bad breath.
Periodontal disease causes halitosis (the clinical term for bad breath), but smokers have their own type of bad breath, too, often known as “smoker’s breath.” This happens because tar and nicotine stick to the inside of your mouth and over time, begin to stink.
5. Smoking increases tooth decay.
Smoking leads to excess plaque. The more plaque you have, the more likely that it’s going to harden into tartar, and tartar build-up is a direct factor in decay.
Simply put, if you smoke, you increase your risk of developing serious disease in your mouth and losing your teeth. We don’t think it’s worth it, but we also understand that smoking is highly addictive, and once you start, it’s difficult to start.
If you smoke, talk to either Dr. John or Ryan Smith at Smith Dental or your own physician about developing a plan to stop smoking. It can be difficult to quit with no support, but many stop smoking plans are available that can increase your chances of success.
Your health is incredibly important to us, and we are on your side.