Smoking and Dentistry
Smoking and oral health do not go hand- in-hand. Cigarette smoking poses a risk for tooth loss, periodontal disease, bone structure loss, precancerous oral conditions and cancer of oral cavity. Less serious, but still problematic issues associated with smoking include: excessive plaque and tartar build up, tobacco stained teeth, bad breath, and a reduced success rate of certain dental procedures, such as, dental implants for missing teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry also does not mix with cigarette smoking. Since smoking is a leading cause of periodontal disease, you may not qualify for dental implants or dental veneers unless you quit smoking. Tooth whitening may not work well for tobacco stains. If you are a smoker, the good news is that there are ways to prevent damage to your oral cavity and your life.
If you are a smoker, your “at home” oral hygiene regimen should include: the use of a tongue cleaner, dental floss, non- alcohol based mouth wash and tooth brushing twice a day for two minutes in a small circular motion reaching the gum line. Fresh breath may help prevent you from smoking. Your dentist is also likely to recommend professional dental cleanings more often throughout the year and regular screenings for oral cancer. Early treatment for oral cancer is associated with a higher success rate when compared to mid and late stage oral cancer. Too, your physician can provide you with a smoking cessation program to help prevent you from smoking.