In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the primary issues associated with cigarette smoking and its negative impact on dental health. Cigarettes can have noted negative health impacts in several major areas, and the mouth and gums are at or near the top of the list. At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we discourage smoking and will offer quitting programs or alternatives wherever possible as part of our preventive care. Here are a few additional risks that are presented by smoking cigarettes, plus some information on modern smoking formats that have become more and more popular in recent years.
While gum disease is possible for anyone, it has several major risk factors that heighten the possibility someone will get it – and cigarette smoking is one major such rusk factor. Those who smoke are about two to three times more likely to develop gum disease, including severe types that lead to bone loss and other major soft tissue concerns. Cigarette smoking promotes plaque and bacteria growth in the mouth, and as these multiply, they cover more and more of the tooth surface and begin to impact the gums. This is what leads to gum disease. When it goes untreated, gum disease will trickle down into areas like tooth loss and other major tissue damage, the sort that creates permanent issues in some cases.
While it’s not necessarily a health area per se, the long-term and recurring use of cigarettes or any form of tobacco has been proven to lead to dulling of the taste buds. This is due to the large quantities of chemicals found in these products, many of which outright damage the taste buds and make them unable to function how they once did. On the flip side, many people who quit smoking after a period of time report that their taste improves significantly afterward. The damage to taste buds is not always permanent.
Vaping and E-Cigarettes
Cigarette smoking has certainly decreased over the last several decades, but at least over the last several years, it’s been partially replaced by vaping and e-cigarettes, which often describe the same thing. This is still something of a newer area, both for dentists and doctors alike, and more research is needed. But there’s no question that introducing smoke into the lungs is a negative for overall health, and due to logical concerns about how these items will impact oral care, they are generally not recommended by dentists. If you’re using one to help you quit cigarettes, speak to your dentist about some tips. For more on how cigarette smoking risks your oral health, or to learn about any of our family dentist services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today.