If you’re a smoker than you’re probably well aware that cigarettes can cause your breath to smell less than pleasant and that your teeth have a yellowish tinge to them. However, what’s more important is that cigarette smoke has the potential to cause damage to the mouth which in many cases may not be visible to the eye. This includes:
- Significant build up of plaque and tartar
- Increased risk of developing gum disease
- Recovery time takes longer following oral surgery
- Success rate of certain dental procedures such as dental implants in Glasgow is decreased
- More likely to suffer from oral infections
- Bone loss within the jaw
Smoking is also known to increase the risk of oral cancer and this applies whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. So it’s no word of a lie when as a dentist in Glasgow we tell our patients that smoking and oral health don’t mix. However, what about the trendy alternatives to cigarette smoking? Are they bad for your teeth? We take a look below at three alternatives types of tobacco/nicotine substitutes and how they may impact on your health.
E-cigarettes – Branded as a healthier and more affordable option, many smokers have been tempted to try ‘vaping’ rather than smoking cigarettes. Since it’s a relatively new concept, the impact that E-cigarettes have on oral health isn’t clear, although it is known that they don’t produce the smoke or harmful chemicals of conventional cigarettes. However, E-cigs do contain nicotine and this impacts on the body’s ability to produce saliva, (which is nature’s way of cleaning the teeth and washing away harmful bacteria). With more bacteria building up there is more chance of developing tooth decay.
Hookah – Smoking water pipes or hubbly-bubbly pipes as they’re sometimes called can actually be more harmful than smoking cigarettes since just one puff from a hookah is virtually equivalent to the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette. One session of hookah can be equal to smoking 20 to 30 cigarettes in one go, which can be extremely harmful to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems as well as impacting on teeth and oral health.
Nicotine gum – Nicotine gum is widely used these days to help people quit smoking but even this can affect oral health. Side effects can include jaw pain, mouth irritation, sores and blisters. However, since this gum is intended as a means of cessation of smoking, then it’s only likely to be used for a matter of weeks or months as opposed to life.
The bottom line here is that smoking is really not good for your teeth or your bodily health and although some substitutes may seem better, they all have oral issues too.
If you’re a smoker then it’s vital that you visit your dentist in Glasgow for regular check-ups. He or she will offer you an oral cancer screen, and be here to encourage and support you should you decide to try and quit. Even by cutting down on cigarette consumption you’ll notice changes to your mouth and your oral health will improve. Why not make an appointment with Dr. Colin Gardner at Botanics Dental Care today by calling 0141 334 3408 or booking online at www.botanicsdentalcare.co.uk.