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A dentist warns about the dangers of smoking and your dental health

18 Dec

smoking teethAll of us know all too well that cigarettes can cause many adverse health problems. Among these include emphysema, cancer, hypertension and many more diseases and disorders that can lead to complication and even death.

Doctor Saliba, an Orange County dentist with a private dental office in Corona Del Mar warns that smoking has also been linked to many oral health problems, however, smokers associate drastic issues, such as oral cancer and gum disease with years of chain smoking and feel that until it is anything serious they are free from harm.

A recent study on Oral health and affects of smoking has shown that smoking can lead to short term affects on teeth as well as long term. For those of us who are still young and consider ourselves weekend smokers aren’t out of the woods.

The research stated that cigarette smoke is a major contributor to tooth decay. Our mouths are full of bacteria, among this Streptococcus mutans bacteria (found in most people) feeds on the sugars that is in our foods. The product of this causes acid that diminishes minerals from the teeth, softening the tooth’s structure and causing decay. What do cigarettes have to do with Streptococci? The study showed that nicotine allowed the bacteria to gain strength and build up, there for remaining on the teeth and causing more damage.

Since our day consists of coffee, soda, desert and other harmful culprits and most of us only brush our teeth twice a day, smoking just adds to the torture we already put our teeth through. Since chain smokers tend to smoke on every break they get, this means that many are contributing to tooth decay all day long.

If you are someone who isn’t planning on quitting anytime soon it is important to visit your dentist to make sure your teeth haven’t already started to decay. In addition your dentist can give you a few useful tips to at least slow down the process.

If you are a smoker, carry a tooth brush with you and brush after each cigarette, if you can brush, carry a travel size bottle of mouth wash or rinse to get rid of any lingering nicotine that may be in your mouth. Try not to smoke directly after food, especially if you have consumed something incredibly sweet and make sure to make constant dental visits to insure your teeth are in shape.

 

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