The dangers of smoking for oral health
Smoking has significant effects on oral health, particularly on gums and teeth.
Here are some of the harmful effects:
- Tooth discoloration: Smoking can cause yellow or brown stains on your teeth. The chemical substances contained in tobacco smoke can deposit on the surface of the teeth and lead to unsightly stains.
- Gum disease: Smoking is a known risk factor for gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Tobacco consumption impairs blood flow to the gums and reduces the tissue's ability to regenerate. This can lead to gum inflammation, bleeding and, in the worst case, tooth loss.
- Slowed wound healing: Smoking can affect the healing of mouth wounds. Smokers may experience delayed healing after tooth extractions or other oral surgical procedures. Complications in healing after extractions or surgical procedures are much more common. These complications can also lead to serious problems such as necrosis, infection or abscesses.
- halitosis: Smoking can cause or worsen bad breath. The chemical substances in tobacco smoke can cause an unpleasant odor in the mouth.
- Loss of dental support: Smoking can cause the bone around the teeth to break down, which affects the stability of the teeth. Over time, this bone loss can lead to loosening and eventual loss of teeth.
- Oral cancer: Smoking is a major risk factor for mouth and throat cancer. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the tissues in the mouth and lead to malignant changes.
It is important to note that these effects depend not only on the amount of tobacco smoked, but also on the duration of tobacco use. Smoking can also have a very negative impact on the response to dental treatment and reduce the effectiveness of oral health measures. Quitting smoking is therefore of great importance not only for general health but also for oral health.
What measures can be taken?
Of course, the optimal solution is to quit smoking. However, we recognize that this is easier said than done. However, a gradual reduction is easier to implement and can occur within a few weeks. As a helpful tip, I recommend using a small cigarette holder and only introducing the permitted amount each day. This makes it much easier to distribute cigarettes specifically throughout the day. Start with small steps and you'll soon find that it's not too difficult, provided you apply a little discipline. If surgical dental treatment is pending, it is strongly advisable to avoid smoking completely during the healing phase. Unfortunately, as a dentist, I have often experienced complications caused by smoking. These complications can be serious and I'm sure no one wants to go through them. If you have to stop smoking for a few days or weeks, it will be much easier to limit your daily amount and stick to it. It just requires a little willpower and self-discipline.
Prevention of tooth discoloration and plaque caused by smoking is undoubtedly easier to combat compared to other possible problems. In this context, Snow Pearl products certainly prove to be extremely helpful.
To achieve this goal, two crucial factors play a major role: firstly, thorough cleaning is required, and secondly, the products used must significantly limit the formation of plaque. In particular, plaque, which later turns into tartar, causes most discoloration. Tartar has a very high porosity; it captures color pigments and deposits them in its structure. At this point, only professional teeth cleaning by a dental hygienist or dentist is able to mechanically remove these hardened structures. However, if you can avoid the formation of plaque in the first place or at least significantly reduce it, you have already taken a big step in the right direction.
Adequate oral hygiene and the use of appropriate products are sufficient. Effective but gentle cleaning is crucial. The Ultra Soft KONEX HD toothbrushes from Snow Pearl are particularly suitable here, as they can efficiently clean the tooth surfaces right into the gaps and slightly below the gum line. The bristles are elastic and soft, so that neither gums nor tooth structure can be damaged.
Another essential component is choosing a suitable toothpaste. This should have sufficient, but not too aggressive, cleaning properties and offer long-lasting protection against external influences. The PEARL SHIELD gel toothpaste is recommended here as it allows for thorough cleaning without scratching the tooth surface. Toothpastes that are too aggressive can remove discoloration, but at the same time can damage the surface of the tooth, which can create a vicious cycle of damaged surface and increased discoloration.
Pearl Shield Gel toothpaste also protects the tooth surface from tooth decay, acid effects and tooth sensitivity for up to 10-12 hours. It prevents the formation of plaque and tartar, which means your teeth stay smooth and clean for longer. It is well known that teeth are less likely to become discolored when they remain smooth and clean and less tartar accumulates on their surface. It is important to take a balanced approach to ensure long-term healthy oral hygiene.
dr Lorenza Dahm
Do you have questions on this topic? Do not hesitate to contact us. We are available to happily answer your questions.