What Smoking Does to Your Oral Health
We all know that smoking is bad for our health. For years, smoking was seen as a trendy, social activity, but then the truth came out about its cancer causing carcinogens. Now, people who smoke run a high risk of illness and disease as well as poor overall health. It is most commonly associated with its negative effects on our respiratory health. In fact, the CDC reports, that in 2011, 156,953 people died from lung cancer. While you may be aware of how bad smoking is for the lungs, you may not realize how bad it is for the mouth.
While oral cancer doesn’t account for as many deaths as lung cancer, with an estimated 7,500 deaths in 2015 by the American Cancer Society, it is still a real problem and one that smoking contributes to.
Smoking and the use of other tobacco products have a serious impact on oral health. Smoking not only endangers overall health through an increased risk of cancer, but through a slew of other oral health issues.
Smoking can lead to stained teeth and tongue. Not only is smoking affecting overall health, it is also affecting the way you look. Stained teeth can be a huge turn off, to everyone from potential dates to employers. You need a top-notch smile to make a good impression and smoking just won’t let you do that.
Smoking doesn’t stop at altering appearance; it also dulls sense of taste and smell. Smoking flattens the taste buds on the tongue and makes them less sensitive. Nerve damage is what results when the loss of smell happens.
Slow healing and gum disease are also possible health issues if you stick with smoking. Smoking weakens the immune system, which makes it harder for the body to fight off infection. This means that if the gums get infected, the immune system has a difficult time fighting off the infection and it makes it a lot harder for the healing process to occur.
Smoking doesn’t just harm the lungs. Smoking can alter how teeth look, how food tastes, and gum health. If you want a healthy mouth, and a healthy body, quit smoking. It is doing more harm than you thought.