Smoking affects most, if not all, aspects of your health. When it comes to your oral health, smoking can dramatically increase your risk for various health conditions. In this blog post, Seattle dentists Drs. Don Jayne and Dean Kois discuss some of the dental health concerns smokers need to be aware of.
Smoking does more than just affect the appearance of your teeth. It also exacerbates plaque and bacteria buildup, which can wear down tooth enamel. This, in turn, increases your risk of tooth decay. Tooth decay can have serious dental effects including tooth loss, infection and an improper bite.
Approximately 50 percent of all adults age 30 and over have some form of gum disease. Not only do smokers have a significantly higher chance of developing the condition, but gum disease tends to worsen faster in smokers than nonsmokers. The early stages of gum disease often occur painlessly and without visible symptoms. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth decay and an array of health concerns, including heart disease and stroke.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, smoking is linked to nine out of ten lung cancers. Similarly, alcohol consumption also increases one’s risk of developing oral cancer. When detected early, oral cancer is treatable. Smokers are advised to undergo regular oral cancer screenings with their dentist.
Smoking and Dental Treatment Candidacy
Because smokers have an increased risk of developing certain conditions, it is imperative that they seek dental treatment when needed. Unfortunately, smoking inhibits candidacy for some restorative (and cosmetic) dental procedures. Smoking decreases oxygen in the bloodstream, which impairs the body’s immune system and delays proper healing after certain dental treatments like dental implant surgery. Smoking also increases the risk of complications following oral surgery. If you smoke, you will need to quit before undergoing certain dental procedures.
Trust Us with Your Oral Health
Drs. Jayne and Kois offer an array of restorative dental treatments to help smokers and nonsmokers alike maintain optimal oral health. To discuss your oral health needs, please schedule an appointment with our team. Contact us by calling (206) 623-4400 today.