The smell of cigarettes … Research shows that your date, your employer and potential house buyers all are displeased by it. A cigarette doesn’t please your dental hygienist either. But do smoking and healthy mouths really don’t go together? blue®m’s oral health adviser, Denise shares seven facts with you.
1 – Smoking undermines the immune system
It’s well known that smoking is a harmful effect on your health. Smoking is not good for your lungs, heart, blood vessels and your skin. In addition, you inhale many toxic substances by smoking. By the incomplete combustion of the tobacco among other things, aldehydes, nicotine, tar and other free radicals are inhaled. This ensures that your liver, your biggest organ for detoxification, will have a huge added task. This way you undermine the immune system and this makes you more susceptible to diseases, viruses and bacteria.
2 – More prone to gum disease
Because the immune system is compromised, smokers are more prone to gum disease. However, they often have less obvious symptoms of it. Among other things, this has to do with the fact that nicotine constricts the blood vessels. Because of this, you’ve less haemorrhaging, which is a first sign of gum disease. Smokers often have unnoticed gum problems and leave them untreated for too long.
3 – A delayed wound healing
When you’re having (a) surgery, your dentist or surgeon always advises you to (temporarily) quit smoking. For smokers wounds heal less quickly than they do for non-smokers. This is also the reason why the probability of failure of an implant surgery for smokers is almost three times higher than for non-smokers. Many dentists are therefore reluctant to advise implants for people that smoke.
4 – Stained teeth
You often recognise smokers because of their discoloured teeth. Cigarette smoke namely causes discolouration because of nicotine and this is difficult to remove from your teeth. Your dental hygienist often can remove it but it’ll always return as long as you keep smoking. It could be a reason to stop smoking entirely.
5 – Reduced smell and taste
If you stop smoking, you’ll notice all the difference after a month with your food and your drinks. Smoking reduces your sense of smell and taste. Also, your breath changes when you smoke. The chemicals released by smoking, ensure the typical ‘smokers breath ‘. It disappears the moment you stop smoking completely.
6 – A dry mouth
Smoking leads to dehydration of the mucous membranes. Nicotine reduces the production of saliva. This can be a cause of bad breath. Your mouth is less able to neutralize the environment after an acid attack, when you create less saliva. This means that you’re more likely to have cavities.
7 – Greater risk of oral cancer
Smoking increases the risk of abnormalities in the mouth, oesophagus and throat. Peculiar spots on your cheek, tongue or throat can possibly lead to oral cancer. The chance of developing cancer in the oral cavity is two to four times greater even. When you’re smoking and you drink alcohol, you’ll have additional risk.
How to quit smoking
TIP: If you want to quit smoking but you’re used to having something in your mouth, use the blue®m mouth spray! You can use the spray throughout the day and it provides you a fresh breath instantly. A new habit, without it being harmful to your body!
Was this helpful?
The ambitious Denise is oral health adviser at blue®m. After having gained extensive experience in biological dentistry, she started studying Oral Hygiene. Her passion is to help people towards optimal oral health.