The latest release of official figures on adult smoking habits in the UK indicate that approximately 6.9 million people smoke cigarettes. The proportion of the population with the most smokers are in the 25 to 34 year age bracket – a representation of 19 per cent. With smoking still quite prevalent, it is worth investigating the detrimental consequences of smoking on health.
Many patients may associate smoking with life-threatening medical conditions such as lung cancer. In comparison, few patients associate smoking with dental problems – and there are a number of them that can develop.
Studies continue to show that smoking, and to some extent even vaping (the recently-introduced alternative to smoking), can raise the risk of a patient developing a dental problem.
Links between smoking and dental diseases
According to the Oral Health Foundation, smoking does indeed have a negative impact on oral health, resulting in problems with gums, teeth and the heath of the mouth. While every child and adult should have a professional dentist, Meath carry out regular dental examinations to ensure oral health, there is more urgency for smokers to do so.
Some of the more commonly experienced dental problems experienced by smokers include the following.
Any issue relating to the appearance of teeth such as discolouration or stained teeth can be particularly frustrating. It is not only the consumption of certain foods and beverages that results in discolouration, but smoking, too, is a leading cause. Nicotine and tar contained in tobacco products are known to hasten on the tallow appearance of teeth, with heavy smokers seeing a more brownish colour after a time.
The progression of gum disease
Gum disease does not just affect gum quality, but can have dire consequences for the health of teeth, too, and can result in tooth loss. Smoke from smoking increases the risk of bacterial plaque in the mouth that contributes to the development of gum disease. In addition to this, smoking causes a deficiency of oxygen entering the mouth, which makes the healing of the affected gums ineffective. In the same way that dental decay is a progressive disease, so too is gum disease; the problem just gets worse over time, leading to more complicated issues.
Along with lung and throat cancer, smoking can also cause mouth cancer. This dental disease needs to be identified early as the chances of recovery are greater than when it is diagnosed in the latter stages.
Another common unwanted consequence of smoking is the likelihood of developing bad breath.
It is far more likely that smokers will need to have more regular appointments with a dental practitioner to restore their oral health, especially those who experience severe dental problems as a result of smoking. Dental products such as mouthwashes may offer limited help with issues such as bad breath, but it is only a professional dentist who can carry out reliable dental care to treat any dental issue.
Smokers who are concerned about the effects smoking has had on their oral health can schedule a check-up appointment with a competent and experienced dental practitioner for good advice and treatment.