It’s 2018 and although fewer people are smoking cigarettes, even more, people are vaping because they find it to be a healthier alternative. Unfortunately, that is not true. Both vaping and smoking cigarettes not only negatively affects your overall health but your dental health. Since your mouth is where the vaping and cigarettes first enter your body, this is where the most damage occurs. Smoking and vaping can lead to significant and severe oral health problems that may require extensive dental treatments to resolve. Dr. Headley is here to educate his patients in Overland Park about the dangers of smoking and vaping and how it affects your dental health.
How Vaping Affects Your Oral Health
One of the biggest trends today is opting for vaping over cigarette smoking. It’s been recently pushed as the healthy alternative to smoking and also advertises their fun flavors to appeal to more users. Unfortunately, vaping can still lead to health issues. Recent research has determined that vaping does not result in tooth discoloration, plaque buildup or bad breath like cigarettes. This is good news for your oral health!
However, if you are inhaling the vaporizers that contain nicotine, you are still going to receive the same health effects as someone smoking a cigarette. Nicotine is shown to reduce blood flow which actually has a huge impact on your mouth fighting off bacteria. This can lead to serious gum infections like gingivitis or more severe forms of periodontal disease. Although you won’t have discolored and plaque-covered teeth and bad breath, vaping can lead to harmful gum diseases. If you don’t know anything about gum diseases, you should know that it can lead to a painful infection and affect the health of your teeth. Without treatment, periodontal diseases can cause your teeth to fall out.
In addition, the vapors from e-cigarettes can release harmful inflammatory proteins into your mouth that enter your gum tissue. This can also lead to serious oral diseases. Studies have also found that some of the flavorings for e-cigarettes can create cellular damage in your mouth. Lastly, e-cigarettes can also lead to a similar suppression of immune genes found in your nasal passage as traditional cigarettes. This means that vaping or e-cigarettes are just as harmful to your respiratory system as traditional cigarettes.
What this means for you: e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, but the use of them still pose serious health risks.
How Smoking Cigarettes Affects Your Oral Health
Cigarettes contain harmful chemicals, tar, and nicotine which can do quite a bit of harm on oral health and overall health. When you smoke, these harmful substances immediately come into contact with your teeth and mouth. This is why smoking wrecks such havoc on your teeth and oral health way before your lungs and respiratory system. The chemicals found in cigarettes will first stain your teeth yellow. Next, they will weaken your enamel. This results in weaker teeth that are more susceptible to cavities because they cannot fight off harmful bacteria that comes into contact with your teeth. These bacteria can lead to tooth decay and even rotting teeth. In addition, weakened enamel can lead to increased tooth sensitivity. This is only the beginning of how smoking affects your oral health.
Smoking cigarettes also lead to bad breath and increase your chance of gum diseases. This is because the buildup of bacteria on your teeth will irritate your gums and penetrate them with their bacteria. As a result, you might develop receding gum lines as well as severe gum diseases. Without treatment of gum diseases, your teeth can fall out.
How Smoking Affects Your Health for Surgery
If you’re a smoker and you want to undergo surgery, you might hear your doctor advise you to quit smoking. This is because smokers have an increased chance of cardiovascular (heart) complications during surgery. Studies have shown that smokers 57% more likely to go into cardiac arrest, 73% more likely to suffer a stroke, and 80% more likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smokers. If you’re wondering why these chances increase so much when you smoke, it’s because when you smoke, it increases inflammation which increases the chance you will suffer one of these complications.
How Smoking Affects Your Body’s Ability to Heal Wounds
Not only do you have a higher risk of complications during surgery when you smoke, but your body takes longer to heal wounds following a surgery, especially in your mouth. This is one of the reasons we don’t recommend dental implants in Overland Park to patients who smoke. When you smoke, it reduces the amount of oxygen in your body. Wounds need oxygen in order to heal. With a decrease of oxygen in your body, it’s no wonder it takes so long for your body to heal following surgery if you’re a smoker. When it takes longer for wounds to heal, this opens up a higher risk for infections to develop. Not only does it take longer for wounds to heal, but also bones and joints. Is smoking really worth all of these harmful side-effects? We’ll leave that for you to decide.
If possible, quit smoking a month before your surgery. Just a few days after quitting, your blood flow improves drastically, allowing your body to receive more oxygen. 4 weeks after quitting, your inflammatory cell response reduces. This can allow for much faster healing times.
Treatment Options for Smokers
If you’re a smoker and need to enhance your oral health in Overland Park, there are a variety of toothpaste and mouthwashes available for smokers. They might do a better job of cleaning your mouth and teeth to fight off harmful bacteria than traditional products.
Visit KC Smile for Your Next Dental Visit
If you’re a smoker, it’s even more important for you to visit the dentist often than non-smokers. During your visits, we will look for harmful gum diseases as well as signs of oral cancer. Give our dentist in Overland Park a call today to schedule your next visit. Smoking and vaping affect your oral health in a very negative way and our team can help reduce the harm it inflicts on your oral health.