Although most of our regular patients see us every six months or so for check ups, and, on the whole, maintain a good oral health regimen, there are still a few who unfortunately compromise some of their good dental habits through smoking.
Despite the fact that fewer people smoke these days, and the cost of cigarettes is much higher than it used to be, some people do still find it difficult to stop. This is unfortunate as smoking causes a lot of harm to your oral health.
One of the more antisocial aspects of smoking is the smell. Bad breath can be deeply offensive and lead to some people avoiding talking to you. It is not just the smell of the tobacco on your breath and clothes that should be a cause for concern though, but the possibility of halitosis caused by gum disease.
Because smokers often have a dry mouth, and smoking slows down healing, gum disease is more likely in smokers than nonsmokers. This can also be a serious risk to the security of your teeth if gum disease is left to advance.
It is not just bad breath and gum disease that smokers should be concerned about. Oral cancers are a serious risk too, and, unsurprisingly, smokers are at the highest risk of getting these. There are a number of possible potential indicators of oral cancers which our dentists look for each time we give you an oral examination. These include red patches on the tongue, as well as lumps and ulcers. Whilst not the most common form of cancer, oral cancers can prove fatal if not detected and treated early enough; another good reason for regular visits to Tooth Doctor.
Less important than oral health and more associated with your appearance is that cigarette tar stains your teeth; indeed it is not hard to spot a long term smoker by their yellow teeth. If you do smoke, try blowing the smoke back through a white handkerchief. The brown colour that appears is tar, and this is what sticks to your teeth (to say nothing of what it does to your lungs!) The good news is that a straightforward teeth whitening procedure can usually correct this staining, removing not only the surface stains but also for a whiter smile.
Whether you smoke or not, but especially if you do, regular oral health checks are essential. To arrange yours, please get in touch with Tooth Doctor here and let us help you keep your oral health on track.