Why the Danger of Tobacco Outweighs the Pleasure

quit-smoking

Smoking cigarettes provides smokers with a pleasing experience. Smoking is also addictive and can have harsh consequences on one’s oral health.

This post is not meant to make those who smoke feel judged for their habits. However, it is important that if you or a loved one smokes, you understand the risks associated.

As stated in our older post, Tobacco & Your Teeth, the CDC has found that a smoker is twice as likely to develop gum disease than someone who does not smoke. This infection of the gums can lead to tooth loss and bone damage. 

If you are a smoker, here is what you can do to protect your teeth:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice daily and flossing once daily, as well as visiting your dentist every 6 months.
  • Stop smoking. This is likely the hardest advice to take, but your mouth – and the rest of your body – will be all the healthier if you stop smoking. If you are having trouble quitting or don’t know where to start, smokefree.gov has resources that can help.
  • Be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of gum disease. Early signs of gum disease are red, swollen gums that bleed.
  • If you suspect that you may have gum disease, talk to your dentist. You may need to be referred to a periodontist for treatment.

No matter how old you are, it is never too early or too late to quit smoking.

Take care of your smile!

 

Advertisements

Effects of E-cigarettes on Oral Health are a Topic of Interest for Researchers

It has been said repeatedly that smoking cigarettes can cause a decline in your oral health. However, when people say this, they are usually talking a traditional tobacco cigarettes. There is a new cigarette that must be considered now, the e-cigarette.

E-cigarettes are “electronic nicotine delivery systems.” The devices emit a vapor containing nicotine that the user then inhales. E-cigarettes have risen in popularity, especially with young people and those who wish to quit smoking. Researchers are not entirely sure yet what health risks e-cigarettes cause, but they are working to find out more.

Several groups that are researching the effects of e-cigarettes were awarded over $2 million by The National Institute of Craniofacial Research  in March.

While the effects of these devices are not yet certain, Registered Dental Hygienist Anastasia Turchetta believes that dental professionals need to be aware of wheter or not their patients smoke e-cigarettes and should look for any complications that may arise from use. To hear more of what Turchetta has to say about e-cigarettes, watch the video below.

Whether you are a smoker, e-cigarette user, or non-smoker, take care of your smile!

 

 

The Effects of Alcohol on Teeth

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

st patricks day alcohol
Photo copyright http://www.visualphotos.com

St. Patricks Day is known for being a day where we wear green and hope for good luck. It is also notorious for the parties and drinking that often occur on this holiday. While talking about celebrating with good food, family, and friends is fun, there is also the not-so fun fact that alcohol and drugs can have harsh effects on your oral health. The following video explains why:

So if you plan on having a drink today, just make sure that you brush your teeth afterwards to help prevent the damage that acid and sugar can cause.

It’s also important to note that smoking cigarettes can be detrimental to your dental health, too. Read our post Tobacco and Your Teeth to find out why.

The bottom line is, have fun – but also be safe and take care of your smile!

Tobacco & Your Teeth

Engaging in good oral hygiene practices is a major part of maintaining good oral health. However, it is also important to be mindful of what you are putting into your body, as anything that you consume can potentially affect your mouth. This includes items like tobacco.

cigarette & ashtray
(Photo Source: “dramatic ashtray with smoke” by Jo Naylor; https://goo.gl/yYN6KE)

Smoking cigarettes can lead to the development of periodontal disease (more commonly known as gum disease). As it becomes more severe, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss.

Why does smoking often lead to gum disease? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the immune system is weakened when one smokes, making it more challenging for the body to defend itself from gum infection.

The CDC also offers the following statistics:

  • A smoker is twice as likely to develop gum disease than someone who does not smoke
  • One’s risk for gum disease increases the more that they smoke

The best way to guard yourself against gum disease is to brush twice and floss once per day, see your dentist every six months, and refrain from unhealthy habits, including smoking.

If you are a smoker, please consider quitting. Smokefree.gov offers resources that can help you reach your goal.

If you have any questions about gum disease, smoking and your oral health, or any other dental concerns, feel free to contact our office.
Take care of your smile!