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Smoking and Your Dental Health

Bad breath and the increased potential for oral cancer are the classic side-effects of smoking. With all of the publicity regarding the dangers of smoking, most of the population is familiar with these common side-effects. But, what do you know about the lesser known hazards? What does smoking really do to your oral health?

By assuming a habit such as smoking, one must also assume responsibility for all of the inherent risks. As an expert in the health and/or disease of the oral cavity, your dentist can educate you about the obvious and hidden dangers to your teeth, gums, and soft tissues.

Periodontal Disease. The chemicals and heat from cigarette smoke are constant irritations to the gum tissue. Bad breath, plaque and tarter accumulation, even tooth decay become much more likely, making the challenge of preventing and managing gum disease exceptionally difficult.

Oral cancer. Many of the chemicals and additives in cigarettes have been scientifically linked to various forms of cancer. Most cancers of the mouth begin on the sides of the tongue, though it can also be found on the lips, floor of the mouth, the throat, or on the face. Similar to other forms of cancer, oral cancer rarely causes pain in the very earliest stages, making it difficult to diagnose during self-examination.

Slow Healing. The toxins in cigarettes can impair the body’s ability to heal itself after an injury. In the mouth, the gums may be unable to heal following oral surgery or periodontal therapy. The delay in healing can be so significant that patients may experience complications with blood clotting after having a tooth extracted. Delayed healing may also cause the failure of dental implants, or exclude patients as candidates for the implant procedure.

Staining. Cigarettes are notorious for causing stained and discolored teeth. The tongue and lips are also susceptible to severe staining, posing a challenging cosmetic concern that may be difficult to correct.

Choosing to smoke or taking the steps to quit are both very personal decisions. No matter your personal preference, you can rely on our knowledgeable and experienced dental team to provide the appropriate guidance and care for the protection of your oral health and your overall health. For more information in the Plainview area, call Broadway Dental at 516-681-2525 for your appointment today.

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