Although less and fewer people in the US are smoking cigarettes, there are still plenty of smokers out there. In addition, vaping or smoking e-cigarettes has been rising in popularity due to the stigma that it is healthier than smoking cigarettes. Unfortunately, both smoking cigarettes, as well as vaping, is not healthy for your oral health, especially your teeth. Smoking is bad for your teeth and overall oral health. Learn more about the effects of smoking on your oral health from Old Milton Dental in Alpharetta.
Side Effects of Smoking on Your Oral Health
When you smoke, it can take quite the toll on your oral health as well as your teeth. Aside from hurting your dental health, smoking can also lead to lung cancer, cardiopulmonary problems and make asthma symptoms worse and increase coughing fits. Smoking can also affect your blood pressure, increase your risk of heart attacks, strokes and cause chronic lung problems like emphysema. On the other hand, smoking can lead to some terrible oral health side effects like bad breath, discolor your teeth, increase your risk of developing oral cancer, cause gum disease, and increase the time it takes for your body to heal wounds or after surgery.
Cigarettes contain harmful substances like tar, nicotine, and others that can do a lot of damage to your teeth. When you smoke, your mouth and teeth are the first parts of your body that come into contact with the smoke and chemicals which is why it’s no wonder smoking causes so many oral health problems. When you smoke, the chemicals go directly onto your teeth. Unless you brush your teeth directly after smoking, these chemicals will cause plaque, yellow stains and weaken your enamel. In addition, your weakened enamel will protect your teeth less from the harmful bacteria that smoking also produces. This means your teeth are more likely to develop cavities and gum disease. Gum disease can lead to rotting teeth that eventually fall out.
Smoking Affects Surgeries and Wound Healing
When you smoke, it decreases the amount of oxygen in your body. As a result, your body heals a lot slower when you’re a smoker. This is one of the top reasons doctors are hesitant to perform surgery on smokers. When it comes time to heal, your body will heal at a much slower rate. This can increase your chance of infection. If you have broken bones that need healing, smoking also affects the rate at which these heal as well. If you are going to undergo surgery, we highly recommend that you quit smoking a month before your surgery. Just a few days after quitting, your oxygen levels rise significantly. 4 weeks after quitting, your inflammatory cell response reduces. In addition, if you’re a smoker, your risk of having a heart attack, going into cardiac arrest and having a stroke is increased significantly during surgery. In other words, if you smoke and undergo surgery, it’s more likely you can have life-threatening problems.
How Vaping Affects Your Dental Health
Now that you know how cigarette smoking affects your dental health, it’s time to learn how vaping affects your dental health. Vaping is trending now more than ever when it comes to alternatives to smoking cigarettes. This is because people think it is a healthier alternative. Studies have shown that vaping is healthier for your teeth, but just as harmful to your overall health.
For example, vaping has not shown to give patients bad breath, plaque build-up or tooth discoloration. This should not encourage you to want to vape. Studies have found that if you smoke the vaporizers with nicotine in them, you are still going to experience the side effects that come with smoking nicotine such as a decreased blood flow. Therefore, you will still be at an increased risk for problems during surgery and your body will take longer to heal wounds. This decrease in blood flow can prevent your mouth from fighting off harmful bacteria. Therefore, you are more prone to infections in your gums and teeth. No kind of smoking is good for your teeth!
Although vaping does not stain your teeth, the vapors in the cartridges release different inflammatory proteins that seep into the gum tissue. This can lead to different oral diseases. In addition, some of the different flavorings found in vaporizers can lead to cellular damage throughout your mouth. Vaping can also suppress your immune system. Studies have found that vaporizer users can still have respiratory problems and issues in the nasal passages. If you think that vaping is a healthy alternative to smoking cigarettes, think again.
Increasing Your Oral Health as a Smoker
If you’re a smoker, of course, our first piece of advice is to quit smoking. Unfortunately, not all patients can do this, nor is it an easy process. In the meantime, we recommend that you do everything in your power to maintain your dental health. This means you need to brush more often than non-smokers so that you can remove the harmful chemicals from your teeth. This will help prevent decay, cavities and gum disease. We can even recommend some toothpaste and mouthwashes that are designed specifically for smokers. They might fight off bad breath and harmful chemicals better than traditional products. We also recommend that you visit us every 6 months for your dental checkups and cleanings. Our dentist will check for cavities, decay, signs of gum disease and check for oral cancer. Prevention is the best way to keep your mouth healthy!
Schedule Your Next Visit Today
If you are a smoker, it’s important for you to visit our dental office in Alpharetta regularly so that we can ensure your smile stays healthy. If you can’t quit, make sure you are taking as good care of your oral health as possible. Smoking is bad for your oral health and we’re here to help you as well as we can. Give Old Milton Dental a call or fill out our online form today to schedule your next dental appointment.