Smoking and vaping have become popular habits to blow off steam among youth today. However, have you ever thought about the detrimental effects it can have on your oral health?
The WHO Global Oral Health Status Report of 2022 estimates that oral diseases affect around 3.5 billion people globally. One of the main reasons for such alarming numbers is the consumption of tobacco products.
Indeed, the damage smoking and vaping does to your teeth is no longer a laughing matter. From problems like bad breath to serious issues like tooth loss and mouth cancer, the effect your bad habits can have on your oral health is worrisome.
So if you are a serious smoker or a curious vaper, it is time to put down your cigarettes and vapes and pick up good oral habits to protect your beautiful smile. In this blog, we will discuss the effect of smoking and vaping on your dental health and how you can quit it and share a real-life example from our dental clinic in Hyderabad.
Effect of Smoking and Vaping on Your Oral Health
Here are the most common oral health problems that people who smoke face in their lifetime:
- Teeth staining: Due to nicotine and tar in tobacco products, a smoker’s teeth become yellow in a very short time. If you’re a heavy smoker, you might complain of brown teeth after years of smoking.
- Bad Breath: Smoking can cause bacteria buildup in your mouth, leading to bad breath. Often, the smell of the smoke also lingers in your mouth.
- Periodontal Disease: Smoking produces more bacterial plaque, leading to gum diseases which may cause tooth loss and bleeding gums.
- Dry Mouth: Saliva is necessary for neutralizing acids produced by bacteria in the mouth that cause gum disease or tooth decay. However, vaping reduces saliva production, making your mouth dry and vulnerable to such conditions.
- Delayed Healing: Tobacco makes it tougher for the immune system to fight infections, which results in improper healing after dental procedures. People often complain about dry sockets, increased pain in gums, and failure of dental implants.
- Oral Cancer: Some of the chemicals in chewing tobacco or its smoke can cause genetic changes in cells of the mouth cavity, leading to mouth cancer.
Prevention Steps For Smokers:
While these problems sound scary, you can prevent them from happening to you by taking the right steps today. Here are some of the tips from our best dentist that you should start following today:
- Create a starting plan: We know going from 10 cigarettes a day to 0 can be challenging for you. So, start by reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke.
- Identify your triggers: Start looking for signs that force you to smoke, like stress, boredom, or even social pressure. Once you know your signs, you can create a strategy to manage them.
- Find Support: If you’re struggling to quit smoking or vaping, talk to your friends and family and let them encourage you. Additionally, you can join support groups or speak to a professional.
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Clean your teeth and gums using fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Ensure you use dental floss before bed to clean the small gaps between your teeth.
- Schedule Timely Visits To Your Dentists: Ensure you visit your dentist every 6-12 months to detect the problems mentioned above early. This way, you can start the treatment before things go out of hand.
Real-Life Example from our Dental Care Hospital
One of our patients, a 30-year-old male, lost his second lower molar. The X-rays conducted showed good-quality bone. As a result, our oral surgeon placed a dental implant in the patient’s lower jawbone.
Despite our clear instructions, the patient could not control his habit and continued smoking without understanding the repercussions. Consequently, the implant failed within three months as it couldn’t fuse with the bone.
This entire case study clearly shows that smoking turns out to be the biggest enemy in the success of dental implants.
As you have seen, vaping and smoking can lead to dental issues that can be avoided in the first place if you take the right precautions promptly. While vaping is generally marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, it still includes harmful substances like heavy metals, nicotine, and cancer-causing chemicals. So, quitting both and leading a healthy life for overall well-being is better.
Being one of the top dental hospitals in Hyderabad, Gnathos often takes the forefront in educating patients about how changes in their current lifestyle can benefit their oral health. Our experienced oral surgeons at Gnathos have ensured that our patients are fully aware of the risks of smoking and vaping in their dental procedures to reduce any damage later.
However, the ball’s in your court now. It is up to you to seek professional help and break free from these habits if you want to safeguard your oral health and have a better smile for years to come.