What are the harms of smoking on oral health ?
Smoking negatively affects many organs of the body, as smoking is associated with an increased risk of many problems and diseases. Some may be interested in the effect of smoking on the mouth and teeth, as they are one of the first organs of the body to be directly exposed to tobacco, nicotine, and other toxins present in smoke.
Also, many people can notice the effect of smoking on the mouth and teeth, through the discoloration of the teeth, the bad smell of the mouth, and the infection of the gums with many diseases. However, it is possible to reduce the occurrence of a number of these effects when using a special toothpaste or mouthwash for smokers.
This article discusses all about the harms of smoking on the mouth, gums, and teeth, the relationship between smoking and oral cancer, and how to reduce the risks of smoking on the mouth and teeth.
Why is smoking bad for oral health ?
Where smoke, of all kinds, contains many toxic substances that may have damage to the mouth and teeth through :
- Affecting the beneficial bacteria in the mouth, which have a major role in preventing various oral and dental diseases.
- Slow down the healing process of any wound inside the mouth and gums, by reducing blood flow to the gums.
- Destroy gum tissues and cells and prevent them from performing their normal functions.
- Increased incidence of dental tartar, which is associated with an increased risk of many gum and tooth problems.
- Reduce salivation.
Accordingly, smoking can negatively affect oral health, especially if the smoker does not take good care of his oral health. The following are the harms of smoking on oral health in general, and its damage to teeth and gums in particular :
The effects of smoking on oral health
The harms of smoking on the mouth include :
- The emission of a bad smell from the mouth, either due to the smell of smoke itself or because of the effect of smoking on oral bacteria, which makes the mouth smell foul.
- The presence of an unpleasant taste in the mouth.
- Infection of the salivary glands.
- Negatively affect the jaw bones, which can cause them to be lost.
- The appearance of white spots on the tongue and mucous membranes lining the mouth.
- Impairment of the sense of taste and smell.
- Reduced blood flow to the mouth.
- Causing delayed wound healing after any oral procedures or surgeries.
- Increased incidence of oral cancer.
- Low success rate of dental implants.
- Accumulation of plaque and calcifications on the teeth.
- Increased risk of gum disease and problems.
Smoking damage to the gums
One of the negative effects of smoking on the health of the gums and mouth is the increase in bacteria in the gums and the accumulation of tartar, so it is associated with an increased risk of gum disease, the most important of which are gingivitis and periodontitis, which can affect the structure of the supporting bones of the teeth, and in serious cases may cause teeth to fall out.
Smoking damage to the gums can also include causing the following :
- Swelling of the gums and redness.
- Bleeding gums.
- Gum pain when chewing food.
- The gums shrink in size and move away from the teeth.
Smoking damage to teeth
Smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products affects the points of contact of bones and soft tissues of the teeth, and increases the percentage of plaque, which makes the smoker more susceptible to picking up various infections because the teeth do not fuse with the tissues around them, in addition to increasing the risk of tooth loss.
There is also a relationship between smoking and tooth pigmentation, so that nicotine and bitumen in tobacco work on pigmentation and yellowing of teeth, and smoking can turn teeth to yellow in a few days, and the smoker suffers for years from brown teeth.
The damage of smoking to the teeth can also include tooth sensitivity or tooth decay as a result of the damage that smoking causes to the gum tissue and makes the roots of the teeth exposed.
The relationship between smoking and oral cancer
Many people know that smoking is the main cause of lung cancer and throat cancer, but they may not know that thousands of smokers die annually from oral cancer, it has been found that 90% of people with cancer of the mouth, tongue, lips, and throat are smokers, and smoking increases the risk of these cancers by 6 times compared to non-smokers.
Therefore, it is necessary to see a doctor when you notice an ulcer on the oral mucosa that does not heal or heal in the smoker, as it may be a sign of cancer of the mouth and tongue.
Are smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes less harmful to the mouth and teeth ?
It is rumored by some that non-smoked tobacco such as inhaler and chewing gum (sniff) is less harmful to the mouth and teeth compared to smoke, and this is unhealthy, these products are very harmful like them, such as cigarettes and cigars, they contain a number of chemicals that increase the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, and esophagus, and may contain higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes, making it difficult to quit them.
Non-smoked tobacco also irritates the gum tissue, and thus separates it from the teeth, which makes the roots of the teeth bare, so they become more vulnerable to infection and more sensitive to heat, so the process of eating and drinking turns into a very painful matter, in addition to the added sugar to those products, especially chewing gum (sniff), it increases the rate of tooth decay.
As for the harms of electronic cigarettes on the mouth and teeth, there is a belief that they are better for oral health because they are tobacco-free and do not produce smoke, but they still pose a risk to oral and gum health, because they contain chemicals and heavy metals that harm oral health. They also still contain nicotine, which has damage to the mouth and gums, damaging gum tissue and reducing saliva production.
Oral care methods for smokers
The first step to reducing the harm of smoking on the mouth and teeth is to quit. In the event that the individual is unable to quit smoking permanently, there are a number of oral care tips that help reduce the negative impact of smoking on the gums and teeth, including :
Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, such as Meridol toothpaste, which helps :
Clean the mouth and teeth from food debris.
Prevention of bleeding gums.
Protect tooth enamel and outer layer from corrosion.
Alleviate oral problems caused by tooth decay.
The following method is recommended to use Meridol toothpaste :
- Apply a very small amount, the size of a small pea, to the toothbrush.
- Brushing teeth in a circular motion.
- For better results, repeat the process twice daily.
Use a toothwash suitable for smokers, such as Meridol toothwash, which works to :
- Prevention of oral problems.
- Prevention of bleeding gums.
- Protect teeth from decay.
- Prevention of plaque accumulation.
- Long-term protection of the mouth, gums and teeth.
Meridol toothwash can be used in the manner described below :
- Put 10 ml of solution without diluting it.
- Rinse it for 30 seconds and then spit.
- Avoid swallowing the solution after rinsing is done.
- Avoid eating or drinking for half an hour after rinsing.
- Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
- Always clean the tongue.
- Use dental floss daily, with the importance of rinsing your teeth after completion.
- See the dentist periodically.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
- Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water.