The negative health effects of smoking are well-known and well-documented. However, the effect it has on oral health isn’t as commonly addressed as some of the other health issues. Do you know the effects smoking could be having on your dental health?

Below, you’ll discover how smoking affects the mouth and the benefits of quitting.

What oral issues can smoking cause?

Smoking can cause a number of problems for your oral health, including:

  • Bad breath
  • Gum disease
  • Stained teeth
  • Tooth loss
  • Loss of taste

The above is just a selection of oral health issues which can occur due to smoking. When you smoke, particles and chemicals from the cigarette stay in the mouth. Several chemicals found within cigarettes are known to have a pungent odour. That, combined with the fact that smoking also dries out the palate, is what leads to bad breath.

Smoking also reduces blood flow to the mouth, increasing the risk of gum disease, while the tar and nicotine lead to yellow or brown staining of the teeth. Without good dental hygiene, there is a risk of tooth loss as you get older. Finally, a loss of taste and smell is also common amongst smokers.

Can they be prevented?

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to prevent oral health issues caused by smoking unless you actually kick the habit. However, there are ways to cover up and treat the issues.

Brushing twice a day for at least two minutes, followed by flossing and rinsing the mouth out with an anti-bacterial mouth wash will help to combat bacteria and ease bad breath. You’ll also want to scrape the tongue regularly too.

Regular dentist check-ups will also help you to keep an eye on any existing oral health concerns, as well as pick upon any problems early on. However, if you truly want to combat your smoking related issues, the answer is simple – you’ll need to quit.

Ways to quit

If you are serious about quitting to protect your oral health, there’s a lot of products out there which can help.

Nicotine patches and gum tend to be a popular choice, but they certainly aren’t for everyone. The patches are designed to be stuck on the body for either 16 or 24 hours. They deliver nicotine slowly throughout the day and come in numerous strengths. They tend to follow a 3-step system where you gradually lower your nicotine dosage.

For those who are reluctant to try the patches, e-cigarettes are a good option. Although they contain a small amount of nicotine, they have way fewer chemicals than cigarettes do. You can pick up good quality vaping kits from companies such as VIP. E-cigs are also a lot cheaper to use and they mimic the smoking experience, something you don’t get with the patches.

Overall, smoking can have a significant negative impact on your oral health. However, the good news is that if you quit, the damage done to your teeth and gums will start to reverse. So, why not look into the smoking cessation aids available to try and kick the habit once and for all?

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