Smoking is one of the most addictive habits out there. It’s also one of the worst things for your health. When you think of smoking, do you think of lung cancer? Perhaps emphysema? Or maybe it’s heart disease. While all of these are very real possibilities, at our Austin dental office, we’d like to talk about the oral health risks associated with smoking.
One of the strongest correlations between smoking and oral health is the increased risk for gum disease. According to research from the Centers for Disease Control, smokers are seven times more likely develop gum disease than non-smokers. Additionally, 75% of all adult gum disease diagnoses are associated with smoking. Caused by bacteria, gum disease is a serious infection that invades the pockets that holds teeth in place leading to pain, bleeding while brushing or flossing, and eventually tooth loss.
In direct correlation with the onset of gum disease, tooth loss is another major health concern ultimately caused by smoking. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) estimates for every 10 years of active smoking, males will lose 2.9 teeth and females 1.5. Tooth loss can create it’s own host of problems including deterioration of jaw bone, lack of proper nutrition due to inability to chew, plus self-confidence issues.
When you take a drag of a cigarette, the smoke immediately touches your lips, then your mouth, and eventually travels through your throat and into the lungs. There are 4,000 known chemicals in each cigarette. 43 are known to cause cancer. With the high level of cancer-causing ingredients along with the close interaction between the smoke and the mouth, some of the following stats shouldn’t be surprising.
- 90% of those with oral cancer have used tobacco
- Smokers are six time more likely to develop some type of oral cancer
- Smoke from tobacco products can cause cancer in the mouth, throat, larynx, and esophagus
If you’re a smoker, let us know. We won’t judge you but it does make it really important for you to keep up with regularly scheduled appointments at our dental office in Austin. At every visit, we’ll work closely with you to ensure there are no dangerous diseases lurking in your mouth.
Accepting patients from Austin, Westlake, Cedar Park, and nearby neighborhoods.