According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, annually, six million people die due to tobacco consumption.
It is the leading cause of preventable death in America and as many as sixteen million people are living with the disease caused by smoking. This includes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and diabetes.
About 1 in every 5 American adults uses tobacco. 65 million adults who use smoke suffer from gum disease. Smokers are 4 times more likely to develop oral cancer. And at an interval of 1 hour, there’s one person who dies from oral cancer. (source: https://blog.deltadentalco.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Teeth-and-Tobacco-Use-01.jpg)
So what if you take a step to quit the habit on World No Tobacco Day? Did you know that smoking also has effects on your orthodontic treatment and oral health? Read on to learn more.
What are the Effects of Smoking on Orthodontic Treatment?
When you get braces, you’re not just keeping a check on the wires and brackets. You also need to maintain good oral health and keep up with regular dental visits. As such, keeping up with good dental hygiene during an orthodontic treatment requires an extra effort. You also need to be gentler with brushing and flossing. And consume foods that don’t easily stain your teeth. But a lot of people who have been smoking for many years can’t seem to give up the habit easily. Smoking during an orthodontic treatment can severely affect your oral health and leave your teeth with permanent stains. Not just that, it also leads to bigger health problems that cannot be ignored. Here’s what you need to know.
Effects of Tobacco on Your Oral Health
Smoking makes it difficult for your body to fight infections. But what this also means is that it doesn’t fight gum infections as efficiently. Once your gums are damaged, the millions of puffs you’ve taken make it harder for your gums to heal. Tobacco use in any form, be it cigarettes, pipes, and electric cigarettes are all prone to gum disease.
Smokers are five to ten times more at a risk of oral cancer than non-smokers. The chemicals used in tobacco cause and promotes cancer. These chemicals result in genetic changes in cells of the mouth which lead to oral cancer.
Just like your skin, your teeth have pores too! These pores easily absorb the nicotine and tobacco that cause yellow or brown discoloration. While nicotine itself is colorless, when combined with oxygen, it turns yellow. Smokeless tobacco or electronic cigarettes are no exception and the nicotine-infused “ejuice” stains your teeth anyway.
Tobacco users experience bad breath and bigger oral health issues. Cigarettes don’t just leave your mouth smelling like an ashtray, but also damage your gum tissue. These strong odors also don’t go away with regular brushing and flossing.
Smokers are 30-40% at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And no matter what type of diabetes you may have, your diabetes becomes even more difficult to control.
Smoking has many effects on your body. It thickens the blood, increases the risk of blood clots, and narrows the arteries. If you smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day, you are at a much higher risk of stroke.
Smoking leads to damaged arteries which leads to a buildup of fatty material and narrows the artery. This results in angina, a stroke, and a heart attack.
Tobacco use restricts blood flow to the gum tissues, limiting the flow of nutrients to the bone and periodontal support of the teeth. Smoking causes plaque build-up on teeth which eventually leads to tooth loss and you will need professional tooth removal.
Here’s How You Can Protect Your Oral Health:
Quitting smoking is the second best thing you can do to protect your dental and overall health. Staying away from tobacco keeps dental problems at bay. This World No Tobacco Day, say no to smoking and take a step forward to your health.
Brush Twice Daily
Brushing twice daily is a habit you should never overlook. All the tobacco consumption needs proper brushing to get rid of plaque buildup and stains.
Flossing daily keeps your mouth healthy. Flossing along with brushing wins the fight against mild gingivitis or gum disease which can be caused by smoking.
Visit Your Orthodontist
Visiting your orthodontist is equally important to check for symptoms of gum disease and overall health problems. If you are a smoker and wear braces, you should keep up with the dental visits to remove any stains your braces or teeth may have sustained.
It’s not impossible to win the battle against poor dental health. This World No Tobacco Day, take a pledge to give tobacco a final goodbye to welcome healthier teeth and practice good dental care.
If you are smoking with braces, it’s important that you visit your orthodontist who can check for tobacco stains on teeth and symptoms of gum disease or other oral problems.
Book an appointment with an experienced orthodontist in Fresno, CA to achieve a healthy smile with affordable and efficient orthodontic treatments.
Dr. Brian Thurman has spent his entire life enjoying all the beauty that California has to offer. A Fresno native, he still escapes to the ocean or the mountains whenever his busy schedule allows. Driven by his love for natural beauty, Dr. Thurman enjoys creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites that last a lifetime. He is proud to be the only Ivy League trained Orthodontist in the Fresno/Clovis area.