Smoking and Oral Health
- If you thought smoking only caused bad breath, here are a few facts that will reinforce why you are making the right choice to kick the habit.
- Smoking reduces the blood flow to gums leaving them at risk for bacterial infection.
- The risk of developing destructive gum disease is almost three times higher for people who smoke or use chew, dip or other smokeless tobacco.
- Smokers can expect to lose two teeth every 10 years from smoking. If you start smoking at age 18 and smoke one pack daily you will lose between four and five teeth by the age of 35.
- The chemicals in tobacco slow the healing process of any type of oral treatment or surgery.
- Tobacco users are four times more likely to develop oral cancer than nonsmokers.
- Tobacco use in combination with alcohol accelerates the risk of oral cancer. People who smoke, chew or dip, and drink are between 15 and 38 times more likely to suffer from oral cancer than those who neither smoke nor drink.
- The death rate from oral cancers (including cancers of the tongue, mouth and pharynx) exceed the death rate from cervical cancer.
- New research is showing a link between breathing secondhand smoke and periodontal disease.
- Hygienists and dentists can tell a tobacco user from their oral health. Some of the conditions that are associated with smokers include:
- bad breath
- discoloured teeth
- increased levels of dental plaque
- gum and bone disease
- shifting teeth
- mouth sores
- smoker's lip (like a burn)
- oral cancers
Source: The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association, American Academy of Periodontology, National Cancer Institute
Benefits of Quitting
Nicotine Replacement Therapy and Other Products and Services to Help You Quit
Tips to Stay Smoke Free at Work
Eat Well and Keep Weight Off When You Quit
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 29 August 2012.