The Dangers of Smoking – From a Dentist’s Perspective
Smoking cigarettes can cause lung disease, oral cancer, and a host of other life threatening conditions. According to Dr. Jazriel Cruz, DDS, a dentist who specializes in endodontics in Fredericksburg, smoking can cause damage to people’s dentition, as well.
Besides the obvious dangers of smoking – which include heart disease, stroke, oral cancer, emphysema, throat cancer and lung cancer – a number of other downsides exist for people who are concerned about maintaining healthy teeth. Dr. Cruz says that smoking can cause tooth discoloration, dry mouth, bad breath, plaque and tartar buildup, bone loss, gum disease, and delayed healing after oral surgeries.
Tobacco usage causes a number of these side effects, however the actual smoke going into and out of the mouth is also to blame for some of these conditions. When people smoke cigarettes, they are sucking in and blowing out smoke that is much warmer than their mouths, which causes the mouth to dry out. This, explains Dr. Cruz, is the main reason why so many smokers report suffering from dry mouth.
When people don’t have saliva constantly flowing in their mouths, irrigating and washing off the teeth along the way, they end up having trouble keeping their teeth clean. Saliva plays a much larger role in oral health than most people realize, since the saliva itself helps wash off plaque and prevent tartar buildup. The Fredericksburg endodontics expert explains that smoking cigarettes reduces saliva flow and leads to dry mouth, which then makes people more susceptible to gum disease and decay.
Unfortunately, Dr. Cruz says there is no sure-fire way to prevent the dangerous side effects that come along with smoking except to quit smoking altogether. If a patient refuses to quit, then the Fredericksburg endodontics expert recommends that people at least make sure to brush their teeth immediately after each cigarette. While that will not necessarily benefit people from an oral health point of view, it will help prevent some tooth discoloration.
From an aesthetics point of view, the less time that tobacco and smoke are allowed to sit and fester on the teeth, the less the teeth will discolor and stain. From a health perspective, however, the Fredericksburg endodontics expert says it doesn’t matter what tips or tricks a person tries. Smoking is a very dangerous activity, and people who do it regularly are putting themselves at a high risk for all types of dangerous oral conditions.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.