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  • Writer's pictureYealmpton Dental Practice Limited

Smoking and its effects on your teeth

Smoking has been proven to have a negative impact on your oral health. Not only does it cause your teeth to stain and look unsightly, but if you smoke, you are at a higher risk of developing gum problems, tooth decay and loss, complications after having surgery in the mouth and developing mouth cancer. It is therefore extremely important to look after your oral health if you smoke, in order to prevent dental issues and highly encouraged to speak to your specialist dentist Devon for advice if you wish to quit smoking.

The most common dental issues caused by smoking that we see at Yealmpton Dental Practice include periodontal disease, tooth decay, halitosis, whitening of the soft tissue in the mouth which is known as smoker’s keratosis, poor healing after tooth removal and gum surgery and decreased taste in the mouth. By regularly visiting your specialist dentist Devon, you can detect early signs of any of the above-mentioned issues and begin treatment for them as soon as possible to minimise the chances of them becoming worse.


Symptoms of gum disease


Gum disease is an infection that occurs in the tissues that are responsible for holding your teeth in place. If you smoke, your chances of developing gum disease are doubled in comparison to a non-smoker. The longer you smoke for, the greater your risk of gum disease and treatments for any dental issues you may have, may not work as well. This is because tobacco use makes it more difficult for the immune system to fight infections thus slowing down the healing process after injuries or surgery in the mouth. It is important to look out for a range of symptoms which may indicate that you have or are presenting early signs of gum disease and contact your specialist dentist Devon as early as possible to arrange for a thorough check-up. Symptoms of gum disease to look out for include gums which are red and swollen and that bleed often especially when you brush your teeth. Another common symptom of gum disease is receding gums which pull away from your teeth. When you suffer from gum disease, you may also find discharge or pus on your gums and will experience bad breath. One of the more serious symptoms of gum disease is loose teeth; this can make simple tasks such as chewing difficult and may make dentures fit differently.


How to prevent dental diseases caused by smoking


The most obvious way to prevent diseases in the mouth caused by smoking is to quit. While we understand that it may be difficult to quit cold turkey, the good news is once you stop smoking, your risk of developing gum disease reduces significantly and your mouth’s ability to heal after treatments increase. It may be the case that once you stop smoking you find your gums bleed more, however this is not a cause for concern ad if it does occur, simply contact our Practice for a dental hygiene appointment. Other measures you can take to prevent gum disease and other infections include maintaining usual oral hygiene habits such as brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing and rinsing your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash. Alcohol consumption combined with smoking increases your risk of oral diseases such as mouth cancer, so it is best to avoid or limit your alcohol intake if you wish to continue to smoke, in order to reduce your risk of developing the disease.

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