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Q.        

Why Is Smoking Bad for My Oral Health?

A.        

If you are a smoker, you must be aware of the various ill-effects that smoking can cause. It is deleterious to your general health as it damages your lungs and poses an increased risk to heart disease. It affects your oral health badly. The most common drawbacks of smoking are-

1.      Bad breath- Would you like to chat with someone who opens his mouth and a gush of smoke puffs out of his mouth? Most of us would find it quite annoying and disgusting. If you are a regular smoker, this is the kind of impression people have about you. Remember, you cannot mask the strong odor of tobacco smoke with a peppermint mouthwash. The best way is to quit the habit itself.

2.      Brownish or yellowish teeth- Smokers have discolorations on the inner and the outer part of their teeth. These are typical dark brownish to black tobacco stains that adhere tightly onto the teeth surfaces. Even after their removal, the teeth may retain a yellowish tint because the stains may just sink into the depths due to the prolonged exposure.

3.      Smoker’s palate- It is a very common sight to see small red dots on the hard palate of a smoker. This condition is called smoker’s palate and the red dots are the inflamed openings of the salivary glands located on the roof of the mouth. These red dots develop due to the high temperature within the mouth from the lighted cigarette or cigar.

4.      Leukoplakia- A white patch develops on the inner sides of the cheeks or on the tongue which is called as leukoplakia. It is a precancerous lesion which means that if the person continues with the habit of smoking, he may develop oral cancer.

5.      Oral cancer- Smokers are always at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Oral cancer brings along numerous defects and deformities and if ignored in the early phases may cause severe irreparable damage as well.

6.      Gum disease- The latest studies have revealed a strong link between gum disease and smoking. The gums slowly lose attachment from the teeth and the support is lost making the teeth slightly mobile.

7.      Delayed healing- If you undergo any type of oral surgery even if it is as simple as in a tooth extraction, the healing becomes delayed due to smoking. Delayed healing may increase the chances of infection in the area of surgery.

When there are so many ill-effects of smoking on your oral health, it is high time for you to quit the habit of smoking as soon as possible.  Next time before you take a puff or two, remember the various consequences you may have to face in future.

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