Many people are aware that smoking increases the risk of cancer and heart disease, but did you know that smoking also puts your oral health at risk?
Smoking and oral health
Smoking is harmful for oral and general health and it also has aesthetic implications for your smile. Smoking contributes to staining and discolouration, which makes the teeth look old and unhealthy and it increases the risk of gum disease, the major cause of tooth loss in adults in the UK. Gum disease is caused by harmful bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria combine with food debris to form plaque, a sticky white film that clings to the tooth enamel and the gum line. When you eat, the bacteria in the plaque feed, which causes harmful plaque acids to be released. These acids erode the protective enamel and irritate the gums.
Smoking also slows the body’s healing process, which means that smokers take longer to recover after dental treatment and when they have ulcers or sores in the mouth. Smoking is also a common cause of bad breath.
How can dental hygienists help with smoking?
Our expert team of dental hygienists are always available to give advice and information about giving up smoking and they can also discuss the effects and implications of smoking with patients. Giving up is not easy, but it is possible and quitting has so many benefits, not just for oral health, but also for general health.
Our hygienists can recommend ways to help patients give up and provide them with information about stop smoking services, which may be beneficial.
Smokers can also benefit from seeing a dental hygienist every six months as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of gum disease. Intensive cleaning can also help to reduce the visibility of staining and keep bad breath at bay. For more information about smoking and oral health please contact the team at Advance Dental Clinic in the heart of Chelmsford.