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Everyone knows that smoking is bad for not only your physical health, but your oral health as well. Let’s have a closer look at why.
This is the greatest threat that smoking poses to your oral health. In addition to the thousands of chemicals the tobacco is tainted with and you ingest when inhaling smoke, these chemicals also linger in your mouth, nasal passages and throat. Smoke is, in and of itself, a carcinogen. The more contact your mouth has with carcinogenic materials, the greater your risk of developing cancer of the throat, sinus, lips, tongue, and gums. Cancer of the throat is highly resilient and typically results in death.
Most people regard gum disease as something that can be prevented by flossing and brushing their teeth, but cigarette smoke has been proven to affect the growth of gum cells by inhibiting blood flow to the mouth. This means that injuries to the gums have a tendency to heal much slower for smokers, and open wounds can lead to infections. Cigarette smoke also causes the detachment of the gums from the enamel, causing infections. In severe cases, this detachment can scale the roots of the tooth, leading to tooth loss. Infections of the gum can lead to infections of the bone, for which tooth extractions and bone grafts may be required.
Many individuals need dental implants. Teeth are surgically implanted deep into the gums, and the roots of the tooth allowed to take hold. Because the growth of gum cells are slowed in cigarette smokers, the odds of the roots taking to the gums are reduced, leading to an increased failure rate of dental implants among smokers. Also, the majority of smokers are daily smokers. Smoking immediately after surgery may lead to infection. This is many cases results in the extraction of the implant.
About the Author
Dr. Vu Le is the Owner of VuLe DDS, Inc. Dr. Vu Le is an experienced Foothill Ranch Dentist, specializing in family dentistry, Cosmetic dentistry, teeth capping and dental fillings. He is certified, prides himself in building strong relationships with each of his patients and has gained a reputation of excellence in the dental community.