It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health. However, many people associate the dangers of smoking with illnesses such as heart disease and lung cancer and are less aware of the damage it does to their oral health. Here’s why you should take particular care of your teeth and gums if you can’t break that nicotine habit.
Smokers are more likely to get gum disease
Smokers are four times more likely to suffer from gum disease than non-smokers, partly because the act of smoking masks the early warning signs. One of the symptoms of early stage gum disease is bleeding when brushing or flossing, but because nicotine restricts blood flow to the gums, smokers often don’t experience this issue. Since smoking weakens the body’s ability to fight off infection, gingivitis is harder to treat in smokers. This puts them at a much higher risk of tooth loss. Regular dental hygienist visits are the only way to remove tartar – the hardened build-up of plaque on your teeth that causes gum disease.
Smoking stains teeth and causes bad breath
Tar and nicotine in cigarettes can cause teeth to yellow over time, and prolonged tobacco use may give them a brownish tinge. These stains settle deep into the teeth enamel and can be difficult to remove without a professional dental cleaning. Your dentist may also recommend a professional whitening treatment to improve the appearance of your teeth and stronger mouthwash to combat smoker’s breath.
Smokers are at a higher risk of oral cancer
Research suggests that smoking causes more than 60% of mouth and oropharyngeal cancers in the UK. As a smoker, it’s important to attend regular dental check-ups so your dentist can examine your mouth for any early signs of oral cancer. When caught early, the chances of surviving mouth cancer are nine out of ten, which is why regular check-ups are so important.
Dental hygiene treatment at Cliftonville
We take dental hygiene extremely seriously at Cliftonville. Whether you are a smoker or not, the benefits of good oral hygiene to your overall health can’t be overstated. In addition to hiring experienced dental hygienists who can show you how to look after your teeth and gums effectively, we’ve invested heavily in sophisticated technology called the Florida Probe system to detect and diagnose gum disease. Using advanced software to produce precise computerised diagnoses quickly and easily, the data it produces can be used to create a personalised ‘treatment map’ so we can address problems before they become more serious.
To book your next appointment, call one of our friendly team members today. We look forward to your visit.