Smoking and Your Oral Health

Dentist Serving Calgary, Cochrane, Airdrie and Nearby Areas of Alberta

Smoking is a habit that leads many people to seek teeth whitening treatments at our office in Calgary. While smoking is a major cause of tooth discolouration, it is also responsible for a variety of serious oral maladies.

If smoking has marred the lustre of your smile, find out how our teeth whitening services can help you by calling 403-543-4600 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Gordon Chee.

The Oral Consequences of Smoking

Thanks to countless pamphlets, commercials and ant-smoking signs, almost everyone is aware of the damaging effect tobacco smoke has on the body. Most know that smoking leads to several health problems, including cancer, heart disease and lung disease. However, people don’t always consider the effects smoking has on their mouths. Before it ever reaches your lungs, each puff of smoke must first pass your lips, gums, teeth and tongue. Here are some ways smoking can impact your oral health:

  • Oral Cancer: The Canadian Cancer Society that 4,400 Canadians will be diagnosed with oral cavity cancer this year, and 1,200 of those diagnosed will die from the disease.
  • Gum Disease: Smoking negatively impacts your gums in two ways. First, smoking causes your mouth to produce more bacterial plaque, which is detrimental to healthy gum tissue and a leading cause of gum disease. Then, once your gums have been infected, your body is less able to deal with the infection due to low levels of oxygen in your blood due to smoking.
  • Cavities: With an increase of bacterial plaque and gum smoking-related gum problems, you are also at a considerably higher risk for tooth decay.
  • Stained Teeth: Nicotine notoriously leaves unattractive yellow stains on your teeth. With time, this discolouration seeps into the miniscule cracks in your tooth enamel, which can result in permanent staining.
  • Bad Breath: More than 4,000 chemicals pass through your mouth with every puff of cigarette smoke, many of which collect on your inner oral surfaces. Smoking also produces a dry mouth, which is a significant contributor to bad breath.
  • Altered Smell and Taste: Regular smoking affects your natural senses of smell and taste. These altered senses can diminish your interpretations of flavour, causing you to add unhealthy amounts of salt and sugar to your food.

Kicking the Habit

Quitting smoking isn’t easy. However, for the sake of your oral and general health, you owe it to yourself to kick the habit as soon as you can. Some tips to quitting smoking include:

  • Understand exactly why you want to quit.
  • Consider nicotine-replacement therapy.
  • Inquire about prescription medication.
  • Find a support system.
  • Find new ways to manage stress.
  • Avoid common triggers, like alcohol.
  • Get active.
  • Eat healthy.

If smoking has led you to consider dental solutions such as teeth whitening, our dentist in Calgary, Dr. Chee will be happy to help you. Contact Aesthetic Dental Studio today by calling 403-543-4600 or by completing the form on this page to schedule your consultation. We welcome patients from Cochrane and neighboring communities in Alberta.