Bellingham Dentist

The Perils of Smoking to Dental Health

All types of Smoking are Risky

A smoker’s unmistakable breath is just one of the signs of this addiction to nicotine. Fumes cling to tooth surfaces, on the tongue, the hard palate, the sinuses, and the soft moist lining of the mouth. If it goes unabated, not even regular brushing and flossing routines can keep the effects of smoking at bay.

Among other things, a smoker’s dentition is the color of yellow to darkish yellow, even brownish; there’s buildup of plaque and tartar that leads to cavities formation, swelling and discoloration of gums, loss of bone in the jaws, and blockage of salivary gland openings. Smokers are difficult cases for implant procedures due to brittleness of their jaw bones, and for surgical procedures like extraction, periodontal treatment, or oral surgery because their wounds do not heal easily. Furthermore, smokers are at a higher risk for oral cancer.

Just like smoking cigarettes, those who indulge in pipe-smoking and cigars face the same risks and oral health problems, in particular, loss of bone in the jaws, loss of teeth, gum disease and throat cancer. And don’t think that smokeless tobacco is safer. These products, either inhaled or chewed, are loaded with many different cancer-producing chemicals, have higher levels of nicotine than regular cigarettes, and are irritants to the mouth’s soft tissues and the teeth’s enamel.

Consider also that your risks for developing these harmful effects is proportionate to how long you’ve been in the habit, how many sticks consumed per day, and how deeply the fumes are inhaled. There is just no way you can beat the odds if kicking the habit doesn’t happen sooner.

Bellingham Dentistry and the Smoker Patient

The Tetrick’s dental practice has seen a lot of smokers as patients and have treated many smokers’ dental issues. While quitting the habit is more a medically consulted issue, we at Dr Tetrick’s are willing to help patient’s committed pursuit to regain oral health if so desired.