Aside from the generally well known overall health risk associated with smoking cigarettes, pipes and cigars, smokers experience many negative oral problems.
increased risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer
increased risk of dental implants failing
increased risk of gum infections and risk of loosing teeth
Black stainning of teeth, both internal and extrinsic
Diminished ability to taste
If you are a smoker and you choose to continue the habit, there are some steps you can take to minimize the oral consequences.
1. Try and have excellent oral hygiene, since it appears that smokers are more sensitive to the bacteria present in plaque as compared to non smokers. Probably, smokers have a “compromised” immune response.
2. Come in more often for dental cleanings(four times a year), since this will tend to keep your mouth healthier and you are less likely to experience periodontal disease.
3.Try cutting down on the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. Sometimes chewing sugarless gum chewing can offer some oral satisfaction and definately helps release of tension.
4. Minimize your alcohol consumption, since combining alcohol and cigarettes definately increases your risks for developing oral and pharyngeal cancers.
Don’t assume that you will never be able to quit, since many people who have been unable to successfully quit do eventually succed.
Here are some pertinent links to other websites.
The Ada smoking cessation page:http://www.ada.org/public/topics/smoking_tobacco_faq.asp
Web MD oral health page: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/smoking-oral-health
The Surgeon general’s website:http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/tobacco/
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