Four Dental Health Concerns for Smokers

Four Dental Health Concerns for Smokers

Smoking has long been known to be detrimental to one’s well-being, increasing the risk of a slew of health problems including lung cancer and heart disease. But how does it affect your oral health? Piqua, OH dentist Dr. Lytha Miller sheds light on four dental health concerns smokers need to know about.

Tongue Discoloration

You may be aware that smoking can cause teeth to become stained or yellow, but did you know the unhealthy habit can also leave an unpleasant mark on your tongue? Smoking and poor oral health habits increase the number of bacteria in the mouth which can cause the tongue to become yellow, green, black and even hairy. Although harmless, a black hairy tongue is an undesirable side effect of smoking.

Sensitivity to Hot and Cold Foods

Smoking can make eating and drinking your favorite foods uncomfortable and even painful. This is because tobacco products cause tooth enamel to wear down, causing the teeth to become sensitive to hot and/or cold foods.

Gum Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smokers have twice the risk of developing gum disease, as compared to non-smokers. Gum disease is also more likely to progress faster in smokers than non-smokers. Smoking weakens your body’s ability to fight oral infections, which can eventually travel to other parts of the body, increasing the risk of other health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Oral Cancer

According to the Health and Human Services, cigarette smoking is linked to almost 90 percent of all lung cancers. Smoking also raises the risk of oral cancer including those of the mouth and throat. Because of this increased risk, smokers are advised to get regularly screened for oral cancer as part of their regular dental checkups.

Regardless of whether you smoke or not, it is imperative you stay on top of your oral health. If you notice changes in your mouth such as tongue discoloration or an increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods, please schedule a dental appointment immediately. Early treatment can prevent dental problems from worsening.
To schedule an appointment, please call Sunset Dental today at (937) 773-8090.

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