Smoking delivers nicotine by burning tobacco, while vaping conveys nicotine by heating a liquid in a less harmful way. While smoking and vaping look cool and trendy, it has numerous side effects on oral health. Smokers have a higher risk of dental complications such as gum problems and tooth loss. If you smoke or vape frequently, you should visit York Dental Group since they offer dental exams & cleanings in York Harbor, ME.
When you stop smoking, your chances of contracting mouth cancer and gum diseases reduce significantly. Also, it improves responsiveness to dental treatment. If you smoke regularly, it’s vital to visit your dentist regularly. York Dental Group offers dental check-ups in York Harbor, ME.
How Does Smoking Affect Oral Health?
Tobacco affects the immune system by making it unable to fight infections, slowing down the healing process after tooth removal and when you have injuries in the mouth. The chances of contracting dental infections also increase. Effects of smoking tobacco and vaping on oral health include,
- Gum disease (periodontal disease) destroys the structures supporting your teeth. These structures include the jawbone, which holds the teeth for chewing food. Once the gum becomes susceptible, bacteria and food debris called plaque form on the teeth and harden to form tartar. It leads to gingivitis which then develops into periodontitis. If not treated early, teeth may fall out since they are very loose.
- Stained teeth – a smile is always the first positive impression people notice when you meet for the first time. Smoking and vaping cause discoloration of the teeth as time passes by. Tobacco has nicotine and tar, which causes the teeth to turn yellow. Vaping liquids, on the other hand, contain nicotine which leads to teeth staining.
- Dry mouth – Smoking tobacco and vaping causes dryness in the mouth. It reduces the amount of saliva produced, causing a condition called xerostomia or dry mouth. Saliva is essential in maintaining oral health since it cleans food particles, neutralizes acids, and prevents bacterial growth.
- Compromised taste – the chemicals inside tobacco and vaping liquids compromise the taste after extended use. It’s more challenging to differentiate flavors and aromas accurately. Tobacco smoking is more lethal in compromising taste as compared to vaping. Vaping causes a temporal compromise in taste.
- Bad breath – smoking and vaping cause permanent horrible breath. The chemicals in tobacco products and vaping liquids leave a terrible odor in the mouth and throat, known as halitosis.
- Bruxism – Nicotine, present in tobacco and vaping liquids, is a stimulant. It stimulates the jaw muscles to contract involuntarily, making your teeth grind while sleeping. Bruxism can cause tooth damage if not treated in good time.
- Tooth decay – smoking and vaping multiply the risk of tooth decay. The chemicals inside the vaping liquids and tobacco smoke damaged the enamel of the teeth rendering them susceptible to decay.
- Oral cancer – smoking tobacco and vaping increases the risk of contracting mouth cancer. It also increases the risk of other tongue, lips, cheeks, and throat cancers. Significant studies have linked smoking tobacco and vaping to increased chances of oral cancer.
How Does Vaping Compare to Smoking Tobacco?
Vaping is a less harmful option compared to smoking tobacco. However, both pose significant oral health risks. According to research, vaping improves several symptoms of oral health, such as gum bleeding and plaque levels. Also, the effects on the oral health risk of vaping are still being conducted.
An oral examination provides vital signs to the dentist, whether you vape or smoke tobacco. Long-term smoking of tobacco or vaping is detrimental to your health since it contributes to gum disease, teeth staining, bad breath, and increases tooth decay.
It’s, therefore, crucial for smokers and vapers to regularly visit the dentist to ensure their oral health is not compromised. The dentist helps by offering tips on maintaining proper oral hygiene at home for persons not ready to quit smoking or vaping. Quitting is, however, the best option to guarantee good dental health.