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July 28 2010

Smoking And Oral Health: Understanding The Facts

Among the top bad habits that many people have learned to acquire, smoking is perhaps the worst. Most especially cigarette smoking. If having stained teeth is just the bad side effect of smoking, it would not have caused much concern in the medical field. But we all know that is not the only thing that we should be worried about. Smoking and oral health do not mix, because the result would be devastating to our health.

Dentists like Dr. Jonathan Hartley have long advocated that people should stop smoking because of its many ill effects on the health. Some of these include cancer (particularly oral cancer), heart disease, emphysema, kidney disease, and even infertility. Even studies have shown that of all the smoking-related diseases, the major cause of death among smokers is heart disease.

These are based on facts, from researches and studies conducted by various medical institutions to help solve the problems of smoking and oral health, to be exact. Periodontis, a kind of gum disease that causes the gums to deteriorate, is among the top diseases that can be connected to smoking. Studies have shown that around 17 percent of smokers suffer from periodontis. But that is not all. Quite alarming is the fact that smoking can severely damage our immune system, making us vulnerable to a number of diseases and viruses.

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There are other health concerns that by themselves should be enough to keep us away from smoking. For one there is mouth cancer which is very difficult to diagnose during its early stage of development. Especially if the patient did not undergo regular dental check-up appointments. In Australia alone, Dr. Jonathan Hartley mentioned that around 3% of all the cancers diagnosed in the country are mouth cancers. This type of cancer can develop in the tongue, the salivary glands, the lips, and also the throat.

Now some of the less life threatening conditions brought about by smoking is bad breath and tooth discoloration. We all know someone who smokes and we can immediately tell if they are indeed heavy smokers if their breath smells or if they have severly stained teeth, mostly gray to black in color.

Should you want to finally quit smoking and to leave a more healthy lifestyle, dentists would probably recommend that you should brush and floss your teeth more often than the usual. This will prevent any further damage to the gums and teeth that might have already been caused by your smoking habit. Also, studies have shown that by brushing and flossing more often, these can help curb the desire to smoke.

The medical experts have for so many years raised the warning flag against smoking. Dentists like Dr. Jonathan Hartley have been at the forefront of those in the medical field who would love to see less people smoking. What do you get from smoking cigarettes? You get heart disease, emphysema, lung diseases, cancer and other deadly diseases. Consider yourself lucky if all that you get are stained teeth and bad breath. There are more reasons why you should not smoke as compared to its benefits. Heed the call of the doctors and stop smoking right now.