Dental Hygiene Tips for Smokers

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It is widely known that smoking can have a great number of adverse effects on the health of the smoker.  Due to the nature by which the action of smoking is performed, it is only natural that oral health would be one of the areas most negatively affected by the act. It is very important that a smoker take extra care of his/her mouth and teeth. Smoking can cause many serious problems for teeth and oral structures of the mouth.  The problem can be increased when proper health care is not followed.  Among the most common oral problems, smokers are at increased risk for gum disease.  Smokers are 3 times more likely of developing this problem than non-smokers.  Due to the excess of harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, smokers are twice more likely to suffer from tooth loss than non-smokers.

Smokers are at High Risk for:

• Leukoplakia-can lead to throat, lung, and oral cancers

• Salivary gland problems

• May have longer time to recover from periodontal treatments and extractions

• Stains on teeth can cause bad breath

• Tongue can develop condition known as black hairy tongue

• May lose the sensation of taste and smell

While quitting smoking is the most effective way to ensure better oral health, here are some tips that those who choose to smoke should follow.  Given all the risks of smoking on oral health it is very important that smokers don’t skip regular checkups with the dentist.  During these visits, the dentist can watch for signs of developing gum disease and oral cancers.  By staying on top of regular dental visits, smokers can benefit from professional cleanings.  Smokers should be brushing, flossing, using a tongue cleaner, and mouthwash each day.  I hope this Tooth Talk has help shed some light on the harmful effects of smoking on your oral health.  If you have any questions please call or email me, dr.jmitchell@integritydentalcares.com,          (615) 445-8700.

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