How To Take Care Of Oral Health As A Smoker
The dangers from smoking have been well-established and if you are a smoker, chances are that you already have a good number of well-wishers advising you to quit smoking. Among various things, smoking also affects your oral health. Smokers routinely suffer from problems like bad breath, tooth discoloration, tartar and plaque build-up, bone loss in the jaw, delayed healing following surgery and the build-up of white patches inside the mouth (called leukoplakia). Besides all of this, smoking also increases the risk of oral cancer.
Having said that, smoking is an addiction and it is not easy to kick. So how do you take care of your oral health when you are already battling this addiction? In this article, we will take you through a bunch of recommendations that can help you with your oral health.
Proper Dental Hygiene
The easiest way to delay the onset of any oral health issues is by maintaining extremely high dental hygiene. This would mean brushing your teeth at least twice every day, flossing to prevent plaque build-up and making use of tongue cleaners to scrap out chemical deposits in your mouth. Visit a dentist at least once every six months to remove any sort of deposits that can accelerate the deterioration of your oral health. It is important to remember that mouse fresheners only cure the symptom and do not address the root problem.
This is perhaps the most effective way to take care of your oral health as a smoker. Unlike regular cigarettes, electronic cigarettes do not contain burnt tobacco. Instead, e-cigarettes contain aerosols that may or may not contain nicotine. Studies have shown that burnt tobacco contains between 10,000 to 100,000 chemicals including 70 known carcinogens. While e-cigarettes are not completely risk-free either, the toxicants in these products is noted to be between nine to 450 times lower than burnt tobacco. Studies show that at least 6000 lives can be saved for every million smokers who convert to e-cigs. Thanks to the lower amount of carcinogens and chemicals, e-cigarettes are much better at protecting your oral health while letting you get your nicotine fix.
No matter how well you take care of your oral health, smoking can still cause irreversible staining of your teeth and this can affect you during important events like your wedding. For such instances, it is a good idea to look up to temporary fixes like teeth whitening products. Teeth whitening is not an overnight process and is only sustainable if you have already quit smoking. If not, it is a good idea to consult a dentist to know how long your whitening process will take and thus time your treatment appropriately.
Smoking is known to cause gum disease. But proper care and treatment can help you reverse these effects. Dentists perform what is known as a scaling and root planing procedure to reverse gum diseases. This includes the use of manual and ultrasonic instruments to scrape out plaque from your teeth, especially those under your gumline. Scaling of the root prevents the accumulation of plaque which generally happens because smoking slows down your natural healing process. A regular oral check up and scaling procedure will ensure that you are in the pink of your oral health despite your smoking habits.