Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable diseases and deaths worldwide. Besides increasing the risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke, smoking can also lead to various oral health issues.
Since oral health is critical in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, neglecting it can lead to serious complications. Understanding how smoking affects your dental cleaning in Knoxville and oral health is a good starting point for taking charge of your overall well-being.
Understanding the Effects of Smoking
How Smoking Affects Dental Cleaning
Smoking can cause gum inflammation, which can make dental cleaning more challenging. Inflamed gums can bleed and become sore during cleaning, making it harder for dental professionals to provide a thorough cleaning. This can lead to increased risks of tooth decay and gum disease.
The harmful chemicals in cigarettes can reduce blood flow to the gums, making it harder for the gum tissue to heal after a dental cleaning. This can increase the recovery time and make it harder for the gums to recover from inflammation and bleeding.
Reduced Saliva Production
Nicotine in cigarettes can cause the mouth to produce less saliva, making it harder to remove food particles and debris from the teeth. Saliva plays a crucial role in eliminating harmful bacteria and food debris from the mouth, and reduced saliva production can lead to built-up bacteria and plaque.
Difficulty in Removing Plaque and Tartar Buildup
The combination of gum inflammation, slow healing, and reduced saliva production can make it challenging for dental professionals to remove plaque and tartar buildup during cleaning. This can increase the risk of oral health complications, such as gum disease and tooth decay.
How Smoking Affects Your Oral Health
Harmful Chemicals in Cigarettes
Smoking introduces harmful chemicals such as nicotine and tar into the mouth, adversely affecting oral health. These chemicals can irritate the gums and lead to inflammation, increasing the risk of gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis.
Increased Risk of Gum Disease
The chemicals in cigarettes can cause irritation, inflammation, and bleeding in the gums, leading to gum disease. Moreover, smoking reduces blood flow to the gums, making it harder for the body to fight off infections, leading to increased risks of tooth decay and gum disease.
Bad Breath and Tooth Discoloration
Smokers often have bad breath and yellow or brownish teeth. Cigarette chemicals can stain teeth, and the smoke can leave an unpleasant odor in the mouth.
Increased Risk of Oral Cancer
In severe cases, smoking can increase the risk of oral cancer. Cigarettes contain chemicals that can damage the cells in the mouth, leading to abnormal cell growth and the formation of cancerous cells. Smokers have a significantly higher risk of oral cancer than non-smokers.
The Importance of Regular Dental Cleanings for Smokers
Besides maintaining a solid oral hygiene routine at home, smokers should ensure regular dental cleanings. Dental professionals can provide a thorough cleaning, identify early signs of gum disease and tooth decay, and check for signs of oral cancer. These appointments provide an opportunity for education and advice on maintaining good oral hygiene.
Do You Need a Dental Cleaning in Knoxville?
Dr. Brian Rich, DMD, uses state-of-the-art technology to provide high-quality dental care in a professional environment. Contact us today to make an appointment.