06Oct2012
Author
Rivercrest Family Dental

Smoking and your oral health

 

   Everyone knows smoking is bad for you. It’s bad for your lungs, it’s bad for your heart, your bones, and ages your skin rapidly. But do you know how serious and detrimental smoking or chewing tobacco products are for your oral health? We’re talking about oral cancer. Studies according to the American Cancer society show that 90 percent of oral cancer patients have used tobacco products in some form in their life. The National Cancer Institute estimated that 40,250 men and women (28,540 men and 11,710 women) will be diagnosed with and 7,850 men and women will die of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx in 2012. 1 in 93 men and women will be diagnosed with cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx during their lifetime. The longer a person uses tobacco, the higher their risk of oral cancer is. Studies also show Tobacco users face a six times higher risk rate of oral cancer than people who don’t use tobacco. Gum disease is also another problem stemmed from smoking or chewing tobacco. Gum disease begins with inflammation of the gums, making them red and puffy, with a tendency to bleed when flossing and or brushing their teeth. Gradually the patient’s gums will begin to recede past the point of reversibility. In turn this can quickly lead to inflammation of the bone supporting the tooth roots and eventual loss of this bone structure. Going to the dentist for your regular checkups can gum disease can be spotted at its early stages before it gets more serious. At your routine checkups a thorough oral cancer screening is also done. Two very good reasons to go!

American Academy of Periodontology studies have also found that the following problems occur more often in people who use tobacco products:

*Bad breath
*Stained teeth
*Smokers Palate- red inflammation on the roof of the mouth
*Tooth loss
*Bone loss
*Loss of taste
*Less success with periodontal treatment
*Less success with dental implants
*Gum recession
*Mouth sores
*Facial wrinkling

Don’t think its too late to quit because its not, benefits are quickly achieved:

  • In 20 minutes your blood pressure will drop back down to normal.
  • In 8 hours the carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) levels in your blood stream will drop by half, and oxygen levels will return to normal.
  • In 48 hours your chance of having a heart attack will have decreased. All nicotine will have left your body. Your sense of taste and smell will return to a normal level.
  • In 72 hours your bronchial tubes will relax, and your energy levels will increase.
  • In 2 weeks your circulation will increase, and it will continue to improve for the next 10 weeks.
  • In 3 to 9 months coughing, wheezing, and breathing problems will dissipate as your lung capacity improves by 10%.
  • In 1 year your risk of having a heart attack will have dropped by half.
  • In 5 years your risk of having a stroke returns to that of a non-smoker.
  • In 10 years your risk of lung cancer will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
  • In 15 years your risk of heart attack will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
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