Reasons to Quit Smoking

Reasons to Quit Smoking

Do you smoke? Below are Three Reasons to Quit Smoking

Smoking can cause serious damage to your oral health

Times have changed. Ads that claim cigarettes make you cool, popular, and feel good are now banned in Australia. In fact, the advertising has changed to horrid photos of the poor health that is attributed with smoking. It is now displayed very clearly on every tobacco product’s packaging and on posters where tobacco products are purchased. Smoking is not allowed indoors, in public areas like parks and beaches. And, despite the rising cost of cigarettes, many people still smoke cigarettes in Australia. Three Reasons to Quit Smoking

Vapes are not much better, yet we see many younger generations picking up the habit even after having parents and grandparents affected by illness and disease from the effects of tobacco use. There is a large number of people destroying their health every day.

Smoking can negatively impact your oral health. We’ve all heard of lung cancer, and other diseases that smokers are more likely to develop. Your Dentist Hawthorn’s dentists have put together the list below to show you some of the major impacts smoking and vaping can have on your oral health.

Three Reasons to Quit Smoking & Oral Cancer

Let’s start with the biggest one. Smoking is not just a cause of lung cancer or heart disease. Smokers have a higher risk of developing oral cancer, quite often involving the tongue and jaw. The tobacco and vape juice contain carcinogenic chemicals. The irritation from the smoke, in combination with this, increases the risk for cancers of the mouth and throat. Your Dentist Hawthorn recommends that you visit the practice twice a year for a thorough dental checkup.

We will not only examine your teeth and gums, but we will also check for signs of oral carcinoma, like unusual lumps, or sore spots that are difficult to explain. They can also be very difficult for you to see. Often under the tongue, or high under the cheek and often at the very far end of your mouth. Should we discover anything that appears concerning or unusual, we will refer you to an oral specialist. An oral specialist may then take a biopsy to confirm and suspicions. You should not panic, as there could be other reasons for these symptoms. However, we prefer to be safe than sorry.

Three Reasons to Quit Smoking & Gum disease

Cigarette Smoke

Smokers (and vapers) are also more susceptible to gum disease than others. Smoking is not helpful as it tends to dry out the mouth and the number ofbacteria in the mouth is also increased. Gum disease is essentially caused by an excessive number of bacteria in and around the gums that causes the gums irritation and inflammation. The irritation of the smoke does not help. Smoking also causes the blood vessels to narrow in the gums, this reduces the blood supply and lowers the oxygen levels. This makes it harder for the body’s immune system fight infections. You are more likely than not to develop gingivitis (gum inflammation) and periodontitis (gum infection) when you smoke. Periodontitis is the next level of gingivitis. This is where the bacteria manage to find its way further down the roots of your teeth and can affect the bones surrounding the teeth. If left, periodontitis can make your teeth loose and they will fall out. Periodontitis is more difficult to treat than gingivitis and can be very costly to rectify by many visits to the dentist for very regular, deep cleaning. It is not uncommon for us to see people who thought they were cool by smoking, losing their front teeth.


Three Reasons to Quit Smoking & Stained (yellow) Teeth

It’s a lesser evil that can still have a negative impact on your daily life. The staining of your teeth is not a health risk, but it can ruin a smile that would otherwise be beautiful. Stained yellow or brown teeth can make people feel less confident about smiling. This is especially true for smokers.

Seeing us at Your Dentist Hawthorn for regular dental cleaning will assist in reducing the stains on your teeth. Most smoking stains are quite superficial and can be removed with a special polish we provide.

Alternatively, a home whitening kit may be required to maintain a whiter smile between dental visits. This system allows you to whiten your teeth as you feel necessary. It does not replace the need to have your gums and teeth cleaned professionally, it simply assists with the appearance of your smile. It consists of two trays specifically moulded to your teeth and some whitening gel we provide. You then wear the trays at home for 15 mins a day until you have a bright, white smile again.


Three Reasons to Quit Smoking & Taking The First Step

If you can, stop smoking immediately if you smoke. There are a number of organisations and support groups who can assist you if you’ve tried to quit before but failed. Your GP will also be able help you. You can greatly increase the damage you cause to your dental health if you continue to smoke. The sooner you quit, the quicker and less likely there will be a lasting impact to your overall health.

There are some things you can do to assist you in your efforts to stop smoking (and this is also true for smokers in general). You can start by reducing your smoking, but there are other ways to help. Again, talk to your GP to find out what is best for you. There are so many options from taking medications to hypnotherapy.

Drink plenty of water as dehydration can be a problem with smokers. It will keep your mouth moist, which helps to prevent gum infections.

Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly every single day, paying particular attention to the gumline where bacteria tend to accumulate. You should use dental floss if you do not currently.

You should visit our Your Dentist Hawthorn dentists every six months. This will not only allow us to monitor your oral health, but also help keep your mouth healthy and remove tartar (hardened bacteria). The mouth of a person who smokes is not as healthy as those who do not. Your dentist may suggest that you schedule more frequent appointments. We usually see an average patient every six months. However, if you are showing signs of significant gum disease we will ask you to attend every 3-4 months until the gum disease shows signs of reducing or subsiding.

We can help you if you’ve already quit smoking to clean your teeth that are still stained. At our dental clinic we have a special polish to lift the staining that accumulates on smokers teeth. You can also choose between our popular teeth-whitening treatment and porcelain dental veneers should you wish to have a brighter smile. We often find ex-smokers reward themselves with this style of treatment after a certain amount of time not smoking.

Smoking is getting harder to maintain and excessively more expensive than ever before. It has never been a better time to stop smoking and for the reasons listed above, it is important that you act sooner than later. We can monitor your oral health to help keep it as clean and healthy as possible, however we would always want to see our patients doing the absolute best for their overall health. Please call us today to arrange an appointment with our dentists at Your Dentist Hawthorn. We look forward to seeing you soon!