Smoking and Your Teeth, Gums and Jawbone

If you need one more push to stop smoking, read on!

At one time, almost all of the workforce in the UK smoked. The office and factory environment were not, in retrospect, healthy places to be, and many people that smoked have sadly paid the price.

With modern health education and the increasing cost of smoking, many people have now stopped smoking. If you are one of the remaining smokers though and care about your teeth and gums as well as your overall health, a few facts about how smoking affects your oral health may just give you the push that you need to stop.

Discoloured teeth

Having examined thousands of patient’s mouths at our Clapham Junction dental practice, it will probably come as little surprise to know that most cases of badly discoloured teeth are caused by smoking. Of course, it is not smoking alone that causes discolouration but it is certainly one of the leading factors in most of the severe cases.

Even if you care little about the appearance of your teeth though (but if you do, take a look at the cosmetic dental treatments available at the Confidental Clinic), smoking can still cause problems with the health of your teeth, gums and general mouth area.

Gum disease

Gum disease is a major problem where smoking greatly increases the risk.

It does so through three means. Firstly, by irritating the gums and soft tissue with chemical irritants, secondly, by narrowing the tiny blood vessels in the gums and thereby slowing down any healing processes necessary, and, finally, smoking causes a dry mouth which provides an ideal breeding ground for the gingival bacteria.

Gum disease doesn’t ‘just’ mean sore and occasionally bleeding gums though. These are simply early stage symptoms of gingivitis which needed to be treated promptly and effectively. If left, periodontitis can occur which can degrade the bone in the jaw and lead to potential tooth loss.

Oral Cancer

As if the above were not reason enough to stop, the incidence of oral cancer in smokers is, unsurprisingly, much higher than in non smokers (1).

Whilst not one of the more common cancers, it does lead to approximately two thousand people in the UK dying from it each year (2). This figure would almost certainly be much lower if smoking was eliminated as a lifestyle choice.

At the Confidental Clinic in Clapham, Battersea checks for potential signs of oral cancers are carried out as part of your general oral health checks. Make sure that you don’t miss yours by calling us today on 020 7801 9060.

1 – http://www.mouthcancer.org/risk-factors/

2 – http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/keyfacts/oral-cancer/oral-cancer#How