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January 28th, 2016

3 Truths About Smoking & Your Health

Category: cincinnati dentist

dentist in cincinnati hagen dentalIt’s probably not surprising to hear that people who smoke regularly encounter quite a few negative side effects when it comes to their health.

Not only is your total health affected, but your oral health is also negatively impacted. Here are 3 ways your oral health is impacted when you smoke.

1. Smoking makes your teeth stained and yellow.

Many of us take pride in having that bright and dazzling smile to put on display. Our smile is—after all—what people notice first about us!

It’s not just vanity, though, depending on how you look at it: having a smile we are proud of actually gives us more confidence in social settings. When you smoke it makes it quite a bit harder to have a white, or a healthy-looking smile: specifically, smoking is one of the top ways to stain your teeth. Over time, it is not uncommon for people who regularly smoke to not just have stained teeth, but teeth that are quite yellow!

2. Smoking makes you more susceptible and likely to have gum disease.

Did you know if you smoke, your gums aren’t functioning as they normally would?

When you smoke, the bone and soft tissue in your mouth is impacted. What’s more is that blood flow to the gums can be significantly reduced. Smoking keeps your gum tissue cells from acting as they normally when it comes to our natural way of healing and repairing. That’s part of the reason why people who smoke are actually more prone to getting infections and gum disease.

People ask: are cigars or smoking from a pipe habits that are just as bad for our health?

The answer is that, yes, just like cigarettes, the smoke we expose our bodies to with pipes and cigars leads to more oral health problems, including more gum disease. The Journal of the American Dental Association reports how cigar smokers have bone loss (tooth and jaw) at the same rate as those who smoke cigarettes. Also, those who use pipes to smoke have a similar risk of tooth losstobacco and your oral health

3. …and smoking increases the risk of cancer.

People are aware that smoking puts you at greater risk for lung disease. And, while smoking directly contributes to gum disease (and oral disease in our body), it also puts you at greater risk for throat cancer and oral cancer. The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that if you expand the definition of oral and oropharyngeal cancers to include cancer of the larynx, the numbers of people who get diagnosed increases to about 54,000 individuals per year. What’s more alarming is that there are 13,500 deaths per year in the U.S. alone for those kinds of cancers (1, 2)!

Truths About Smoking

Sure, losing your sense of taste and smell and having bad breath are negative side effects of smoking, but if someone needs more of a deterrent, share this blog with them so they can see the tobacco-oral cancer connection.

In general, more than 20 million Americans have died because of smoking since the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health was issued more than 50 years ago (1, 2).

If you want to maintain good overall health—including oral health, you should avoid smoking. For those who already smoke, know that quitting before age 40 can reduce excess mortality attributable to continued smoking by 90 percent (5). Also, quitting before age 30 reduces risk levels by more than 97 percent (5). Those are good figures to know to motivate us into taking steps to quit a habit that has so many negative impacts on our well-being.

References/Sources

  1. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/smoking-and-tobacco
  1. http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/
  1. https://www.sharecare.com/health/healthy-teeth-and-mouth/can-smoking-irritate-your-gums
  1. http://www.pensacoladentist.us/page/The-Effects-of-Smoking-on-Your-Dental-Health
  1. http://www.dentalhealth.ie/dentalhealth/causes/smoking.html
  1. http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/89/8/572.long
  1. http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/tobacco/tobacco-as-a-cause.php

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