Smoking – a habit that more than 4.6 million Canadians over the age of fifteen turn to. Even with a bombardment of anti-smoking propaganda – the addictive nature of smoking makes it hard to resist, and even harder to quit.
Dentists in NW Calgary at Metro Dental in Harvest Hills strive to support patients quit smoking as they explain that not only does smoking ruin smiles – it also negatively impacts the body as a whole and contributes to many forms of disease. Patients who smoke are at greater risk for developing periodontal disease and oral cancer thanks to over 700 chemicals present in tobacco. These chemicals are responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths and 85% of all lung cancer deaths – and many debilitating illnesses, that though they may not be life-threatening, certainly take the fun out of life.
Dr. Jeff Chan and Dr. Verena Lam of Metro Dental explain that nicotine’s damaging properties change the ph level of the mouth – making it more susceptible to dryness, irritation and compromised immune response. The high temperatures oral tissues are exposed to during inhalation constrict blood flow making gums and bone prone to infection due to increase levels of bacteria. What’s interesting to note is that due to the constricted blood flow to gums – smokers don’t experience gum inflammation and bleeding like non-smokers – which means that early signs of gum disease go unnoticed and treated. Often periodontal disease reaches an advanced stage before a smoker is bothered by symptoms.
Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your oral health – and systemic health. Smoking doesn’t just increase your risk of developing oral cancer; it stains teeth and causes stinky breath and damage to taste buds. Smoking also causes an increase in plaque formation, delayed healing following oral surgery and risk for premature tooth loss. All-in-all there’s nothing to be gained by smoking – either in the short or long term.
All procedures performed by a General Dentist