Lung cancer, heart disease and strokes…these are some of the health problems we commonly associate with smoking but are you aware of the effects on your mouth and teeth?
Nicotine stains your teeth, fillings and dentures – the effect of smoking is more severe than that of drinking tea and coffee!
Smoking reduces your ability to taste and smell so foods and drinks don’t taste as good!
Smoking affects how your body heals, for example following a tooth extraction or after deep cleaning of the gums smokers generally take longer to heal.
It increases your chance of infection after tooth extraction – smoking in the 24 hours following tooth extraction greatly increases the risk of an infection that we call dry socket – this is a very painful condition that people often say is far more painful than the original toothache that caused your tooth to require extraction.
The chemicals in cigarette smoke increase the risk of severe gum disease called periodontitis which can cause loose teeth that may eventually fall out or need to be extracted
Smokers who do not drink alcohol have a 2-4X increased risk of mouth cancer, smokers who drink heavily have a 6-15X increased risk.
It is also a major cause of unsuccessful dental implants, for this reason some dentists may not be happy to provide them to smokers.
Your dentist will be able to offer you advice on stopping smoking and answer any further questions you have. Alternatively visit http://www.stopsmokingwithnewleaf.co.uk/ or www.smokefree.nhs.uk or call the Smokefree NHS helpline on 0800 1214637.