World no tobacco day: How does smoking affect your oral health?

The 31st of May is World No Tobacco Day. WNTD is an initiative of the World Health Organization to highlight the risks associated with tobacco use, and to advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. The World Health Organization is calling on countries to prioritise and accelerate tobacco control efforts as part of their responses to the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Tactics such as plain packaging, graphic health warnings, increased taxes, and increased funding for initiatives to reduce tobacco usage have helped to reduce consumption and increase awareness in the health problems which are caused by tobacco. Although Australia is a world leader in the push for reducing tobacco usage, there is still a major problem among the population.

People who smoke are at a higher risk of oral cancer, gum problems, and oral surgery complications

There are a number of oral health issues which can be directly related to tobacco usage. Your risk for tobacco-related diseases, such as those affecting your oral health, depends on how long you’ve smoked and the number of cigarettes each day. Tobacco usage puts you at risk of the following oral health problems:

Oral cancer

Cancer involves the gradual mutation of healthy cells within your mouth. When you inhale tobacco, harmful chemicals will pass directly through the mouth and throat. Over a period of time, extended exposure to these chemicals can cause changes to your oral cavity, leading to oral cancer.

Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death and disease within Australia. By reducing your tobacco usage or by quitting, you greatly decrease you chance of developing oral cancer.

Gum disease

Gum disease is caused by an infection which destroys the bone surrounding your teeth. People who smoke less than 10 cigarettes per day are two times more likely to develop gum disease, whilst heavier smoker can be four to five times more likely to develop gum disease.

Poor healing after dental work

Smokers who develop oral health problems and receive dental work are more likely to experience complications during the healing process than non-smokers.

Smokers can often develop ‘dry socket’, which is a poorly healing tooth socket after a tooth extraction and can be very painful. Smokers are also more likely to have pain after oral and gum surgery and in the instance of dental implant treatment, are less likely to experience successful integration of the implant to the bone.

Help Coastal Dental Care spread awareness this World No Tobacco Day!

Coastal Dental Care is proud to support World No Tobacco Day and spread awareness of the link between tobacco usage and oral health.

Quitting smoking can immediately improve your oral and overall wellbeing. If you are experiencing any oral health concerns due to smoking or the use of tobacco, contact the friendly Coastal Dental Care team today!