By Dr. Raul Gonzalez,
Everyone knows that smoking will negatively affect a person’s physical health. But for some people, the damage that it does to their oral health is commonly overlooked. The inhalations of over 4,000 chemicals that are found in cigarettes not only make teeth look unattractive and discolored; it can also cause severe problems for an individual.
A malignant neoplasm on the lips or in the mouth can be caused by smoking. Of the 40,000 people diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States every year, about 8,000 die per year. It is said that only a little more than 50 percent of those diagnosed will be alive in the next five years.
Studies have shown that smoking is one of the most significant factors in not only the development of, but advancement of, periodontal disease. Because smoking interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells, people who smoke are more susceptible to periodontal disease. When smoke is inhaled into the mouth the blood vessels constrict, delaying blood flow to the gums and hindering wounds from healing. If periodontal disease is left untreated, it will only get worse; periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss.
People who smoke are also more likely to have issues including:
- Build up of plaque and tarter
- Deep pockets between your teeth and gums
- Loss of bone and tissue that support the teeth
If bacteria is not removed through routine and professional cleanings then bacteria remains below your gum line and can destroy the gum tissue, causing them to become inflamed. Once this happens, pockets form and fill with disease-causing bacteria. These bacteria can cause gingivitis and ultimately cause the teeth to fall out.
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Anyone who smokes long enough will develop halitosis. Although mouthwash and gum may work short-term, in the long run they will fail. Many smokers may become used to the smell, but it is quite obvious to non-smokers. Halitosis can be cured and sometimes will go away if a person stops smoking.
Like halitosis, many of the problems brought on by smoking can be reversed or corrected if a person drops the habit.
By combining my extensive training with state-of-the-art equipment I can help patients improve not only the look of their teeth, but their overall oral health as well.