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Smoking and Dental Health

Smoking is no stranger to the public. According to Statistics Canada, in 2014, 21.7% of males and 16.3% of females in Canada are considered to be smokers. Cigarettes are still sold by the thousands despite growing evidence linking smoking to many different illnesses. Smoking has been linked to poor oral health as tobacco products damage gum tissue and expose the roots of teeth. Here are some common questions about smoking:

What is Smoking?

Smoking is a practice in which an individual burns a substance and continues to breathe in the resulting smoke, which is then tasted and absorbed into the bloodstream. The most commonly used substance is a dried leaf known as tobacco which can be rolled into a small, cylinder called a cigarette. Smoking is hard to quit because of an active alkaloid known as nicotine, which the user may become addicted too.

What are the oral side effects of smoking?

Aside from other health risks, smoking causes a variety of oral effects that you would rather be without. Smoking causes an accumulation of plaque and tartar in the mouth, leading to an increased risk of cavities forming. It also causes teeth to have a yellow, stained appearance and for the smoker to have bad breath. Smoking has also been discovered to reduce your sense of smell and taste.

What are some oral risks of smoking?

Some of the possible risks associated with smoking include the following:

  • Periodontal diseases
  • Oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers
  • Tooth decay
  • Mouth sores or cuts that heal extremely slowly or not at all

How can I quit Smoking?

Smokers need not worry as there are many resources out there that are available to you. Doctors and Dentists alike can help individuals come up with a strategy to quit. Some other common tips include:

  • Chewing sugarless gum and drinking water when cravings hit
  • Incorporating more exercise into your daily routine
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Anticipating triggers to smoking and avoiding them

Smoking is a difficult habit to quit, despite all it’s known side effects. If you have any questions regarding smoking, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Apple Dental Today and we would be happy to help!