When it comes to smoking, we are constantly told about the dangers to our health, but are you aware of the effects that smoking has on your teeth? London dentist Dr Jimena Calleja investigates.
Dr Jimena works at both our Soho and Covent Garden Smilepod Studios and will be happy to speak to you further about smoking and your teeth to ensure you receive the best possible oral care and advice (even if you are not ready to give up smoking).
The dangers of smoking:
Smoking has a proven association with a wide spectrum of diseases but did you know that smoking is also bad for your mouth?
Risk of periodontal disease:
Increasing evidence points to smoking as both a cause and aggravator of gum/ peridontal disease. Moreover, smoking can influence the clinical outcome of nonsurgical and surgical treatments as well as the long-term success of implant placement in cases of tooth loss.
The best solution to reduce these risks is simply to stop smoking. If you are not able to quit, it’s important to be aware of the signs of gum disease and ask your dentist about oral hygiene products which can reduce the risk of damage. Corsodyl Daily mouthwash, for example, is recommended as it can minimize the impact of smoking on the mouth. Ask your dentist to recommend the best products for you to use during one of your regular check-ups.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures which support the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums become swollen and red due to inflammation. This is the body’s natural response to the presence of harmful bacteria.
In the more serious form of periodontal disease, called periodontitis, there is not only gum inflammation but also a loss of supporting bone mass with potentially serious consequences such as tooth loss.
Cigarette smoke is a very complex mixture of different substances with over 4000 known constituents. Many of these components show a clear relationship between smoking and periodontal disease. A large number of studies comparing smokers and non-smokers with periodontitis have found that smokers have:
- Deeper probing depths and a larger number of deep pockets.
- More attachment loss including more gingival recession.
- More alveolar bone loss.
- More tooth loss.
- Less bleeding on probing.
- More teeth with furcation involved.
Smokers may present with periodontal disease at an early age, be difficult to treat with conventional therapy and have progressive or recurrent periodontitis leading to tooth loss. Smokers should be aware that even with good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, bone loss can still occur.
As a smoker it is best to have very regular dental hygiene visits and dental examinations to ensure that symptoms are recognised and treated as quickly as possible to minimize damage. If you feel unable to give up smoking, it’s recommended to limit other damaging habits such as sugary drinks. At Smilepod, we have a Smoker’s Makeover hygiene clean that specifically targets nicotine stains and is a perfect solution for smokers. If you feel unable to quit, come and see us – we will offer you non judgmental advise help you maintain good oral hygiene.
Stop smoking today in order to
- Live a healthier longer life
- Have fresher breath
- Save money
Book an appointment with Dr Calleja