Tobacco, E-Cigarettes and your Dental Health
There is a huge push in the media to educate the community on the dangers of smoking. The educational campaign focuses on how smoking, either tobacco cigarettes or e-cigarettes, can cause heart disease, cancer, and problems with your lungs, but it leaves one thing out – how it impacts your oral health.
Any type of smoking, whether it is cigarettes filled with tobacco or e-cigarettes with nicotine liquid, can cause a number of dental problems. Some of the dental problems, such as bleeding gums or discolored teeth, can be treated if caught early enough, while other problems, such as damage to the teeth’s enamel, cellular damage of gum tissue, and gum recession, may be difficult to treat and may last your entire life even if you stop smoking.
To help you better understand the damage smoking causes to your oral health, we will take a close look at some of the problems that smokers experience.
The Problem is the Nicotine Not Tobacco
Tobacco is dangerous and has been linked to many health problems, but it isn’t responsible for a lot of the dental problems you experience when smoking. The dental problems are caused by nicotine.
Since the problems are caused by nicotine, it doesn’t matter if you smoke tobacco cigarettes or electronic cigarettes as they all contain nicotine. The only way to improve your oral health is to remove the nicotine, which requires you to stop smoking. Unfortunately, even if you stop smoking some of the damage that was done may be permanent.
What Problems are Caused by Nicotine Consumption
It is important to note that researchers have just started studying how e-cigarettes impact people’s oral health. While some studies have been conducted, there haven’t been enough to determine for sure what problems are caused by e-cigarettes.
Even though research is just starting on e-cigarettes and their impact on your oral health, it is obvious that the problems people face when smoking e-cigarettes are similar to those who smoke tobacco cigarettes.
Some of the dental problems you may experience when you smoke tobacco cigarettes or e-cigarettes include:
- Severe gum recession caused by the blood flow being cut off to the gums. Severe gum recession can lead to increased teeth sensitivity, loose teeth, and infections
- Development of severe gum disease as the symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, are masked by nicotine consumption
- Bad breath – bacteria thrive in the mouth because saliva production is decreased by nicotine
- Damage to the teeth from grinding – consuming nicotine leads to excessive teeth grinding which can damage your teeth or cause problems with dental fillings, crowns, or implants
- Discoloration – smoking often causes the teeth to develop a yellow color or a spotted appearance
These are just some of the many problems that can occur as a result of smoking tobacco or e-cigarettes.
Work with Your Dentist to Create a Periodontal Disease Maintenance Plan
Ideally, after learning how tobacco and e-cigarette smoking impacts your oral health you would stop smoking. Unfortunately, it isn’t so easy to kick the habit and even if you stop smoking right away you may still have periodontal disease that needs to be treated. Luckily, Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics can help.
Dr. Brown and his staff at Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics will work with you to create a periodontal disease maintenance plan. The maintenance plan will include regular professional cleanings that are designed to remove any calculus or bacterial formations. These professional cleanings also allow his staff to monitor your oral health and treat any problems that arise in a timely manner. Treatment that may be recommended by the staff at Vero VIP includes deep cleanings, fluoride rinses, antibacterial rinses, or tooth extraction in severe cases.
Whether you are a current smoker, a smoker working to quit, or a smoker who has quit for years, it is important you get proper treatment for any periodontal disease that may have formed as a result of smoking. Call the staff at Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics today to schedule an appointment.