With over 7000 chemicals contained in tobacco smoke and at least 70 of them known to cause cancer, smoking is not only harmful for your overall health but also has a particularly negative impact on the health of your mouth.
What are the ways in which smoking affects the mouth?
Smoking leads to…
- An increased risk of gum disease
- An increased risk of oral cancer
- Delayed healing following tooth extraction and oral surgeries
- Stained teeth and tongue
- Bad breath
Are cigarette alternatives any better?
Cigarette alternatives are still harmful to the oral cavity, and many of them contain cancer-causing chemical agents.
Electronic cigarettes/vaping: there is little regulation to control the amount of contaminants in e-cigarettes, including cancer-causing agents, therefore they pose a major health concern. Along with an increased risk of oral cancer, there is some evidence that vaping can cause gum inflammation which can lead to gum disease.
Smokeless tobacco/chewing/snuff: despite marketing, this is not a healthier alternative to smoking. It carries many of the same oral side effects such as gum disease, oral cancer, teeth staining and bad breath.
Cigars: this is just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes and contains more tobacco than cigarettes. Similar to cigarettes, smoking cigars causes an increased risk of oral cancer and gum disease
How to improve your oral health
Quitting smoking is the best way to decrease your risk of these tobacco related health problems. This is because there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco and any amount of tobacco can cause harm to the mouth. It is also important to visit the dentist regularly to check for any of these oral health problems that may have resulted from smoking!
For more information on quitting visit:
- Your GP or dentist
- Ph: 13 7848