– Hi, it’s Dr. Shehan from Dentists of Ivanhoe Central. The latest stats show that about 13% of Victorians still smoke, and I want to talk to you specifically about how smoking can affect your teeth, gums, and your mouth. The most immediate effects of smoking are stained teeth, gum discoloration, bad breath, and loss of taste. Smokers are about three times more likely to have gum disease, and also have a higher risk of having complications after surgery in your mouth.
They also respond poorly to gum treatment, and this is due to a lowered resistance to infection and poor healing. Now, if you needed to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant, it’s more likely that the implant may not work in a smoker. Smokers also have a higher decay rate. The nicotine in cigarettes can reduce the saliva flow and also make it thicker, which means saliva doesn’t protect your teeth as well.
Now, smoking is the number one cause of oral cancer. Any red or white patch on your tongue, your cheeks, or the floor of your mouth that doesn’t go away three weeks needs to be checked by your dentist for oral cancer. Earlier we can detect the cancer, the better it is for you. Now sadly, about 50% of the people who have been diagnosed with oral cancer don’t survive after five years.
The good news is when you stop smoking, your gums will become healthier, your food will taste better, your breath will improve, and you’ll decrease the risk of tooth loss and oral cancer. Now, if you’re like most smokers and finding it difficult to quit, contact Quitline and try and reduce the amount you smoke.
Maintain impeccable oral hygiene, and also visit your dentist more regularly to have more regular dental cleans and also cancer checks. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and chew a lot of sugar-free gum to protect your teeth. Thank you for watching.
If you have any questions about your dental health, feel free to Contacts Us and ask our friendly dental team!