Smoke Your Mouth Away: How Smoking Affects Your Oral Health

smokingEveryone knows that smoking cigarettes are bad for your physical health— causing lung cancer and heart disease. But did you know that smoking is also equally as bad for your oral health? By causing things like dry mouth, tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer, cigarettes can wreak havoc on virtually every part of your oral health. Read on to learn more about these conditions and the symptoms you should be mindful of.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is common amongst smokers. If you have noticed that even after you drink a lot of water that your mouth feels like it has cotton in it, then you likely have dry mouth. If left untreated, dry mouth can lead to plaque buildup and decay.

Tooth Decay

Cigarettes lower your mouth’s ability to quickly fight off infection, which means that plaque and tartar can quickly build up on your teeth— resulting in an increased chance of tooth decay.

Gum Disease

Did you know that cigarettes slow down the blood flow in your mouth? The less blood that spreads to your gums and throughout your mouth means that you are at an increased risk of developing things like gum disease. And as mentioned above, because smoking lowers your mouth’s ability to fight infection, your gum disease is more likely to worsen or spread.

Oral Cancer

Cigarettes are filled with carcinogens that can cause cancer— especially in a mouth that has open sores. Through both smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco, you are more likely to develop oral cancer than any other way.

Luckily, if you are suffering from dry mouth, tooth decay, or gum disease, Dr. Nik Zalavadia can work to fix these problems and restore your oral health with relatively easy methods. However, if you are suffering from oral cancer, you may have to undergo some surgery. If you are a chronic smoker, make sure that you are getting checked for these conditions at least once a year at one of your bi-annual dental cleanings. Remember that if caught early, these diseases can be treated. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Nik Zalavadia today.

 

 

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