6 oral problems caused by smoking

Dentist making dental contact lenses
Dr. Natália Morales is a specialist in Endodontics, Implantology, Dental Prosthesis and 3d Dentistry and has been dedicated for 14 years to caring for patients with odontophobia. Reference in humanized care.

The habit of smoking brings many damages to health, and this also involves the structures of the mouth. In the relationship between oral health and smoking, there are conditions from the simplest, such as yellowing of the teeth, to more serious diseases, such as oral cancer.

We must not forget that smoking is a risk factor for cancer of the oral cavity. According to the National Cancer Institute (INCA), the estimate for the 2020-2022 triennium is 15,190 new cases of the disease. Adding cases of oral and laryngeal cancer, these diseases rank second in incidence.

As this is a very important topic, we prepared this article for you to understand more deeply the damage that smoking brings to oral health. Keep reading to stay on top of the subject.

 

Why is the relationship between oral health and smoking so dangerous?

It is not news that cigarettes are a great villain when it comes to health. This happens because it contains several toxins that affect the cells of the body, causing changes in their behavior, and this harms tissues and organic functions.

The mouth is the first that has contact with the harmful substances of cigarettes, being greatly affected by it. The mouth has keratinized parts, which function as tissue protection, and non-keratinized parts. The contact with that chemical substance is very close, and it reaches and penetrates the cells very quickly.

In addition to the damage caused by toxins, we cannot forget the high temperatures of cigarette smoke. This hot steam also raises the temperature of the oral cavity, causing peripheral vasoconstriction and of the oral microvessels.

As a consequence, there is a reduction in blood flow, which decreases tissue oxygenation. This favors the proliferation of bacteria, especially those that cause gum disease, such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Cigarettes do not only contain nicotine as a substance harmful to health. There are several other toxins, such as ammonia, ketones, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, among others, that will reach our entire body, as the mucous membranes of the mouth absorb them.

Click here and read our article with 10 Tips to keep your teeth healthy and white.

 

What oral problems are caused by smoking?

The combination between oral health and smoking is not the best, as you can see. The losses involve aesthetic issues and the incidence of various diseases. We made a list of 6 problems caused by smoking in oral health. Check out.

1. Periodontal disease

We explained that the high temperature of the cigarette favors the proliferation of bacteria that cause periodontitis, remember? This happens because these microorganisms manage to survive in an anaerobic environment; thus, a smoker's mouth may be the ideal environment for them.

Just to remind you, periodontal disease is an infectious condition that affects not only the gums, but all the tissues that support the teeth. Therefore, its occurrence can even lead to the loss of dental elements, which come loose from the mouth because they do not have a firm base to remain fixed.

2. Bad healing

This happens because the mouth is less vascularized. For good healing, we need the cells up to date. When we break the healing cascade, it bleeds a lot, the vessels are closed, and this process becomes slower.

3. Cancer of the mouth

As we have seen, the incidence of oral cancer in Brazil is high. This is a very common disease and affects the body in general, and can extend to the lung and other important organs.

The chances of developing malignant tumors increase when we associate smoking and alcohol.

4. Teeth pigmentation

After checking out all these complications in the relationship between oral health and smoking, tooth pigmentation seems like a small problem, doesn't it? But this will happen and it greatly affects the aesthetics of the smile, causing damage to the image and self-esteem.

For those who smoke, the tendency is for teeth to become yellow or darkened due to contact with smoke and toxins. The dentition has an aged and poorly maintained appearance, a problem that cannot be eliminated with brushing.

5. Taste alterations

We are able to perceive the taste of food because of the taste buds, small structures that are on our tongue. Due to contact with cigarette toxins, they atrophy, which leads to alterations and even loss of taste.

It is worth remembering that cigarettes also dry out the mucous membranes, affecting the production of saliva. This will damage the palate and favor the manifestation of different types of cavities, since saliva is a natural protection of the teeth.

6. Bad breath

Smokers also end up neglecting oral hygiene care. This happens because cigarettes have such a strong taste that it ends up masking the bad taste caused by tongue coating, an accumulation of waste on the tongue. Even saburra is one of the causes of bad breath.

 

What is the frequency of consultations with the dentist for smokers?

The recommendation, before anything else, is to stop smoking. This is the main care that can be taken with the health of the mouth. However, if the person does not succeed, she recommends increasing the frequency of visits to the dentist.

For non-smokers, it is indicated that consultations take place at least every 6 months. For those who smoke, the time interval is shorter due to the various risk factors to which these patients are exposed.

We need to go to the dentist more often because we need to keep an eye out to see if there is gum inflammation, which comes from poor hygiene, not brushing and not using floss, for example. This causes gingivitis to develop, and then it can evolve into periodontitis and bone loss.

But not only that. Specialist support is essential to identify possible precancerous lesions when they are in their infancy. Most of these injuries do not cause pain and often go unnoticed because they are, for example, under the tongue.

Therefore, a higher frequency of consultations is essential for monitoring to be more rigorous. The dentist will carry out these complete evaluations of the mouth, prophylaxis and treatment of possible problems that are already starting, to avoid their worsening.

 

And after quitting smoking? Is there still damage to teeth?

Even after quitting smoking, we cannot forget that the damage caused by smoking to oral health is very intense. Some problems, once installed, cannot be reversed.

That's what happens with periodontitis. The dentist says that patients who develop periodontal disease need regular periodontics follow-up. This is because this condition is like diabetes: it has no cure and must be monitored.

Therefore, quitting smoking avoids greater damage to oral and organic health, reducing the risks of developing different types of disease, including cancer. However, the reflection of these conditions can appear even years after the person has given up smoking and, as said, periodontal disease does not go away.

Ideally, you should not experiment with cigarettes so that you don't have to worry about these unhealthy relationships between oral health and smoking. But if you already smoke, try to give up cigarettes and maintain strict follow-up with the dentist, to receive even more intense care for your health.

We all know someone who smokes, don't we? Then share this information on your social networks to make this alert.

Here in OdontoLiuzzi, we bring a new concept in dentistry, combining comfort, technology, advanced techniques and a qualified team, offering customers excellence in dental treatments.

Do you have any questions about the risks of smoking for your oral health? Then schedule an appointment with OdontoLiuzzi! Around here, you will find highly qualified professionals ready to help you smile again. We are available!

Contact us and schedule your appointment!

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