tobacco use

How Tobacco Use Affects Your Teeth

Smoking… let’s rehash this vile problem once again. It causes lung cancer and coughing fits, leads to various cardio-pulmonary and chronic lung problems, and worsens asthma symptoms. Do you need any other reasons to not use tobacco? Tobacco puts you at risk of various severe health problems but there is one other side effect that most people don’t pay attention to that potentially is as bad or worse.  

Smoking takes a big toll on your oral health and prevents blood from flowing freely to your mouth, which creates more room for bacteria to grow. A few other problems that are related to smoking include:

·         Foul breath

·         Slow recovery after oral surgery

·         Risk of oral cancer

·         Discoloration of teeth

How Tobacco Damages Teeth

Cigarette compromises the ability of your mouth to fight infection. So, when you smoke, the mouth becomes defenseless against all that bacteria, which is in the smoke. This allows bacteria and plaque to fester and leads to other problems such as yellowing teeth, which ultimately could end up in the need of a root canal.

Think of it as this way, the auto-immune defenses in the body are short-circuited by the smoke, which allows tartar to build up at a fast pace. Next, the grit from the tobacco rubs on the teeth and the protective coating on your teeth of enamel wears off. Eventually, the bacteria make its way to the gums and cavities starts to take root.

Effects of Smoking on Gums

·         Redness and tenderness

·         Receding gum line

·         Loosening of teeth

·         Foul breath

·         Pain when chewing

·         Permanently lose dentures

·         Pus oozing from the gums

·         Blood when flossing or brushing your teeth

How to Quit

People who want to quit smoking are forever in a battle of “just one last cig” or “I swear I will quit tomorrow”. You need to be stronger than that, which means you need to create a plan to deal with the withdrawal.

First, you need to make the final decision and give yourself a reason for it. Why are you quitting? What pushed you to take this decision?

Your medical report?

Your children’s future?

A friend who died from mouth cancer?

Write it down and frame it. Your commitment will get you by on those days when you are craving for a puff.

DO NOT Use E-Cigs, Nicotine Gums or Patches or Nasal Sprays

All these options are just another addiction, so stay away from them. In fact, the sugar in nicotine gums will cause tooth decay, not to mention what that nicotine in the gum will do to your physical health.

Set a Date

Instead of decreasing the number of cigs you smoke in a day, go for the direct kill. Set a date, have that last smoke and then no more. This will get you on the quitting path faster rather than delaying it with fewer smokes a day.

Dealing with the Withdrawal – Create an Association

Every time you crave a smoke after you have quit, do something that will put your mind off of it. A great way to do this is to have a cup of tea or coffee, as both will help reduce the cravings.

Clean House

Throw everything away from tobacco tins to ashtrays and lighters. Make sure that there’s nothing in the house that can tempt you.

Book a Meeting with Your Dentist

Now that you are trying to be free from this vile habit, visit your dentist and talk about how you can restore your teeth’s health. There are various over-the-counter medicines that will help you with the nicotine cravings.

The journey is not going to be easy but once you reach the end of the line, you will learn to appreciate your freedom and the renewed energy you have. You will be truly living a healthy lifestyle, something you can pass on to other smokers in your family.