Bakersfield, CA – Smokers claim that cigarettes give them a sense of calm, but all those butts may be bad for one’s oral health. This should come as no surprise. For years, we’ve been told that smoking is harmful to our health. Not only does smoking increase the chances of suffering from a stroke or heart attack, not to mention lung cancer and premature births and birth defects, but smoking also negatively affects a person’s oral health.
Bakersfield, California, dentist Dr. Thomas Frank is no stranger to the negative effects of smoking on oral health. Dr. Frank often sees patients who exhibit damage to their teeth, gums, and jawbones, all due to their smoking habits. He said, “It’s easy to take that cigarette out of the pack and light up, but smokers may want to consider what they’re doing to their mouths.”
Dr. Frank points to several areas smoking can wreak havoc on a person’s oral health. These include:
Teeth Staining: It probably comes as no surprise that smoking can lead to yellow or otherwise discolored teeth. While teeth whitening and veneers can help to whiten a person’s smile, these treatments can also be expensive. Smokers can save money and keep their naturally white smiles by never picking up cigarettes in the first place.
Smoker’s Breath: Smoking cigarettes can lead to dry mouth, which can lead to halitosis. Furthermore, tar and nicotine can settle in a person’s oral cavity, which can contribute to even worse breath, as well as gum disease.
Decaying Teeth: Smoking can increase the levels of dental plaque in a person’s mouth. The more dental plaque the smoker has, the harder it is for dentists like Dr. Frank to remove. All that plaque will eventually lead to dental tartar, then tooth decay.
Periodontal Disease: Smoking tobacco interferes with the way gum tissue cells normally operate. Frequent smoking can cause the gums to become damaged and separate from the bone completely. This is when infection can set in. In fact, smokers are more likely to get gum disease, requiring extensive gum disease treatment.
The Loss of Otherwise Healthy Teeth: When periodontitis becomes severe, the jawbone can begin to deteriorate, and that’s when tooth loss can result.
The Big C: Smokers have long been told that lung cancer is a danger of smoking, but what’s not so commonly known is that smoking can also cause oral cancer. According to Dr. Frank, the majority of oral cancer sufferers are former or current smokers.
It should be noted that these ailments aren’t only reserved for cigarette smokers. Pipe smokers and users of chewing tobacco are also at risk for oral health problems.
Dr. Frank added, “As an AAOSH (The Academy for Oral Systemic Health) dentist, I want to educate the public that oral health and full-body health are intrinsically linked. Oral health issues have been shown to manifest in other ailments like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, just to name a few. If that’s not a reason to quit smoking, I don’t know what is.”
For more information on AAOSH dentistry, and the effects of smoking on oral health, contact Dr. Thomas Frank in Bakersfield, California, at (661) 324.6511 or email to schedule an appointment.
About Dr. Frank: Dr. Frank offers the highest level of dentistry to patients in and around the Bakersfield, California area. An AAOSH dentist, Dr. Frank operates with the belief that positive oral health is important for total body health, and he strives to keep all of his patients as healthy as possible, one clean mouth at a time.
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