Smoking is not only a bad habit for you and overall dental health, but also for those around you. As such it is important to know the consequences that yields smoking as well as how to deal with it. We know that smoking is a hard habit to shake off, and as dentists we want to see you with a shining smile!
We see these problems with our patients every day, and we always encourage and support them to quit these habits.
To raise a bit of awareness of the harms this can cause, we have written some of the problems as well as things to do in order to deal with these bad habits.
Problems caused by smoking
Smoking, for a fact, causes a wide variety of issues concerning people’s oral health. We hope that by stating these, it will help realize how harmful this can be in
the long run.
One of the most common issues that smoking and tobacco products bring is tooth discoloration. The tobacco has chemicals in it that stick to your tooth enamel, slowly staining it over time. Albeit merely a cosmetic issue, it is not the only problem it brings in the whole plate. Keep in mind that getting a teeth whitening procedure will help get back a bright smile. But if the habit persists, then they shall only get stained again!
Of course, by using these products you are bound to get bad breath, too. This can be easily treated with mouthwash, but that is only for short periods of time. To combat this we recommend brushing the inner parts of your mouth as well as tongue throughfully.
A more serious problem for smokers is gum (periodontal) disease. By smoking, your mouth is unable to fight bacteria as it should, leaving it open to many threats. This may show as receding gum line, blood from brushing or flossing and tenderness and redness due the smoke irritating the gum. Also, since the nicotine makes the blood vessels in your mouth become thinner, it is much harder for you or your dentist to notice if there is bleeding from your gums. Please let them know if you happen to smoke!
And then comes the fact that your mouth will not heal as fast as it should be. Tobacco and cigarette products show a link at hindering your healing when, for example, you get a dental procedure. It is important to tell your dentist that you smoke so he or she takes things into consideration.
And last but not least, there is a higher risk of developing cancer, either tongue, mouth or pharyngeal. Please, watch out for lumps, discolorations inside your mouth or tongue. Going to regular check-ups not only helps identify problems much earlier before they are an issue, it also helps you achieve a bright white smile in the long run.
Here in Los Algodones, México we offer prices at 50 to 70% off in any procedure compared to that of the States and Canada.
In summary, not only do you get a handful of issues like bad breath and teeth discoloration, there are also other problems more serious like gum disease and delayed healing that will likely mess up or affect the dental procedures you get. And ultimately, there is oral cancer, which we recommend being super careful of.
Quitting the bad habits
We recommend stopping these habits as you see fit, the first step is the hardest, so do it however you can.
For quitting, there are a handful of options to consider:
- It is absolutely important to have the determination willing to set a quit date.
- Search for things to distract you when the urge to smoke comes in. Remember that your dentist can tell you about what has worked for other patients.
- Exercise every now and then to sweat off that nicotine. Not only are you going to improve your health, you will also keep your mind occupied.
- It is recommended that you do at least two checkups a year. Even more so if you are a smoker
- Have friends and family support you, this also includes your dentist and even doctor!
We know the feeling of being judged or scolded, and I know for a fact it is not pleasing for the dentists either. But it is necessary to tackle the problems upfront. The best would be to shake off the fear and seek an appointment so that our dentists will try their absolute best to help you achieve a long lasting smile.
Dental hygiene to keep
As smokers, it is even more important to keep dental hygiene on point. Plaque, gum disease and bad breath will most likely be what you deal with. We recommend:
Using special mouthwashes and toothpastes aimed towards smokers.
Brushing and flossing daily, this is a very important habit to maintain. You might want to consider a toothbrush with strong bristles to deal with the hard stains on the teeth.
Avoiding highly acidic foods as they wear down the enamel of your teeth. This together with what smoking brings is devastating.
Visiting a dentist every 4 months if possible. It is essential that to track progress with them as for things to not escalate for worse.