Did you know that Chesterfield Cigarettes launched an advertisement campaign back in 1931 that claimed their cigarettes are “just as pure as the water we drink?”
Despite the massive amounts of research shedding light on the disadvantages of smoking cigarettes back in the day, cigarette companies made claims disputing all the scientific data and research on the impact of smoking on peoples’ health.
Thankfully, today, we have overwhelming data and research that would render any bogus campaigns like that futile. From causing coronary heart disease to damaged blood vessels, and the accumulation of tar in your lungs that hinders their functionality, there are countless ways in which smoking is detrimental for your health.
But more than that, smoking is also a leading cause of severe gum disease, poor oral health, and mouth cancer in the United States. Let’s delve deeper to see how smoking affects our oral health.
This is a gum disease caused by an infection that destroys the bones surrounding and supporting your teeth to help you chew food comfortably. Bacteria accumulation and plaque from smoking can trigger the disease as the plaque hardens to form tartar.
The tartar irritates the gum around the teeth, and as the disease progresses, they get loose and are more likely to fall out.
Periodontal gum disease can be easily mistaken for a regular toothache in smokers. This is because people who smoke up to ten cigarettes a day have lower blood supply in their gums. When the gum disease develops without any bleeding, it’s mistaken for a general toothache.
A few symptoms of periodontal gum disease include persistent discharge and pus coming from the gums, bad taste or bad breath, gaps appearing between teeth, and loose gums.
Oral cancer is a cancer of the mouth that can affect the tongue, cheek, lips, and the floor of the mouth.
Research shows that of people with oral cancer, 75 percent are smokers. In fact, people who smoke 40 cigarettes a day are 35 times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers.
Treatment for oral cancer includes surgery, tooth extraction, and radiotherapy, but they all include grave risks.
A few other symptoms of oral cancer include a persistent ulcer in your mouth that doesn’t disappear even after ten days, white or red patches in your mouth, and swelling.
Poor Healing After Dental Work
This is another common side-effect of smoking.
People who smoke are more likely to develop a dry socket—a condition characterized by a poorly healing socket after tooth extraction. It’s severely painful and can lead to other mouth infections with time.
Studies show that people who quit smoking experienced significant improvement in their oral healing within a year—which shows how detrimental smoking is on our oral health.
What Can You Do?
There’s no doubt that the only sure-fire way to avert these diseases is to quit smoking, but it doesn’t hurt to have a supplementary oral health partner that can keep your mouth, teeth, and gums clean.
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