Why Your Dentist Wants You to Quit Smoking

Smoking can lead to a myriad of health issues, including lung disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It can also cause major damage to your oral health, which is why most dentists strongly encourage their patients to stop smoking. Dental problems associated with smoking include bad breath, tooth discoloration and an increased buildup of plaque and tartar.

Read on to learn why your dentist at Fioritto Dental wants you to quit smoking!

  • Smoking leads to gum disease: The American Academy of Periodontology found that tobacco use is one of the leading causes of periodontal disease development and progression. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss and a variety of other health problems, including heart attack, stroke and pregnancy complications. Smoking also inhibits the normal function of gum tissue, which can lead to infections
  • Smoking has a visible impact on your teeth: If you like white teeth, don’t smoke! Smoking will cause tooth discoloration and a large buildup of tartar and plaque. Furthermore, the tartar and plaque buildup can lead to cavities. In most cases, professional teeth whitening is the only method to effectively remove stains from your teeth.
  • Smoking gives you bad breath: Have you ever noticed people back away from you after you have smoked a cigarette or cigar? Sometimes, people may back away even when you haven’t recently lit up a cigarette. Smokers often end up with what’s called “smoker’s breath.” This is a stale smell produced by lingering smoke in your mouth and lungs. This is definitely not beneficial when meeting with clients or going on a date!
  • Smoking is bad for your vocal cords: If you want to keep your voice intact, it’s best to stop smoking. Smoking can irritate the vocal cords, sometimes resulting in inflammation. This inflammation can actually alter the tone of your voice over time. Vocal cord-related diseases caused by smoking include laryngitis, Rheinke’s edema and leukoplakia.
  • Other oral issues caused by smoking: In addition to the health issues we’ve covered, smoking can also cause bleeding, abscesses and gum pockets. Smokers may also develop smoker’s palate, smoker’s tongue, and oral cancers.

Is it better to use smokeless tobacco products?

While some people use chewing tobacco as a replacement for cigarettes, it isn’t any better for your oral health. Cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco all contain chemicals that increase the risk of oral cancer, throat cancer and other disease. Like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco can irritate your gum tissue, making it difficult for your mouth to heal from irritation or infection. Chewing tobacco also contains more nicotine than a cigarette, which means you may even have a harder time quitting chewing tobacco than quitting cigarette smoking.

Listen to your dentist

Stop smoking to help preserve your dental health. There are plenty of great ways to kick a smoking habit, including nicotine gum, prescription medicines, and by considering how smoking
impacts your well-being and that of your family.

Consult your doctor about your smoking habit to see what they recommend. While quitting a smoking habit is no easy feat, it’s an important step in taking care of your oral and overall health.

Schedule an appointment with Fioritto Family Dental today to get started on your journey towards better oral health.