5th April 2019
An NHS dentist warns against smoking
What was your New Years’ Resolution? Now its April and we’re 4 months in to 2019, many people’s New Year Resolutions have been reluctantly (or maybe not so reluctantly) abandoned. In fact, a study showed that January 12th is the most popular day for giving up on your resolutions. Many people choose to give up smoking for theirs. If you’ve stuck with yours until now, then good for you! If you’re starting to wobble, then maybe you’d be interested to know what smoking does to your dental health. Here’s a warning from your NHS dentist in York about the dangers of smoking…
Smoker’s breath is more sinister than you’d think
Smoker’s breath is wrongly thought of as being you’ve just had a cigarette, therefore your mouth and breath smells. It will go away with a mint, brushing your teeth, or with chewing gum. This isn’t the case, because smoker’s breath doesn’t reside in your mouth but in your lungs. This makes it far more sinister. Your lungs are made up of tiny membranes called bronchioles that are full of air holes. These little passageways allow each inhale to pass through them, where the oxygen is filtered through to your blood stream. This is obviously where chemicals from smoking can absorb into your bloodstream, too. Smoker’s breath occurs because smoke particles from your inhale get trapped in these air passageways in your bronchioles and are knocked loose by talking, exhaling, and laughing. This is why smoker’s breath can often smell stale, because smoke can get trapped there and grow old before coming out on your breath again.
How smoking affects your gums and your teeth
For this next point, we’ll provide a bit of context. Almost every adult in the UK has experienced or is experiencing gum disease in one form or another. With that said, regularly smoking tobacco can worsen the signs of gum disease. This is because regular smoking leads to a lack of oxygen in your bloodstream, causing your gums to heal far slower than in a non-smoker. Gum disease is a major cause of adult tooth loss, so regular smoking could very easily lead to missing teeth and gum recession. Smoking also changes the pH balance in your mouth, leading to an increased build-up of plaque and tartar. These deposits rest against the gum line and nestle at the bottom of your teeth, causing further gum irritation and recession. Smoking greatly increases your chances of developing an aggressive form of gum disease, which your NHS dentist can treat, but stopping smoking in general will definitely aid treatment too.
How smoking stains your teeth
Your teeth are porous, just like your skin, so the nicotine and tar in tobacco can very easily be absorbed by your teeth’s pores. This causes brown-yellow discolouration when it mixes with oxygen, as it does when you smoke. Even e-cigarettes can stain your teeth because of their nicotine! Tobacco stains can be difficult to remove because they have been accumulated over years of smoking, often meaning that the stains have settled deep into the enamel and even the dentin. This is an unpleasant staining that could result in you needing to seek the attention of a private dentist for cosmetic treatments, let alone an NHS dentist for your teeth’s health.
Visit your NHS dentist in York
There has never been a better time to quit smoking than right now. It will help to better your dental health, overall health, and stop your smile from becoming tobacco stained. Visit your NHS dentist for tips on how to quit, treatments to improve your mouth’s health, and private dentist recommendations. Luckily, we at Blossom Dental Care are both an NHS dentist with NHS patients and a private dentist, so you can find your essential health treatments and optional cosmetic treatments all under one roof. Book your consultation today on 01904 654889.