Smoking: The Real Deal

Quitting is the only chance you have of possibly preventing oral diseases.

Your favorite dentist in Asheville wants to see you quit smoking just as much as, if not more than, your primary care physician, internist, respiratory doctor and cardiologist. Smoking causes a slew of oral health complications. While your dentist can treat these issues, the professionals at Zoe Dental prefer to keep you healthy, rather than wait for problems that certainly would have a large negative impact on your total health.

Smoking cigarettes and cigars and chewing tobacco can eventually lead to a host of physical problems. Smoking affects everything from your complexion to your blood circulation. As for your mouth, smoking and chewing can lead to:

·         Mouth cancer

·         Bad breath

·         Stained teeth

·         Gum disease

·         Dulled taste and smell senses

·         Slower healing following oral surgery

·         Interference with cosmetic procedures

·         Periodontal disease

·         Plaque buildup

The Bad News of Smoking

Gum disease is one of the most common conditions related to smoking. The disease starts by taking advantage of your immune system, which is weakened by the use of tobacco. As a result, your body finds it more difficult to fight off infection. And once you develop gum disease, it becomes that much more difficult for your gums to heal.

According to the best dentist in Asheville, the facts are in:

·         Smoking doubles your chances of getting gum disease.

·         Your risk increases the more you smoke.

·         The longer you smoke, the higher your risk of ending up with gum disease.

·         Gum disease treatments may not even work if you continue smoking.

Your Dentist in Asheville Urges You to Quit

If you quit smoking and using tobacco products, you can prevent many physical health complications. Since 1964, when the first surgeon general’s report on the hazards of using tobacco was released, more than 20 million people have died from smoking-related problems. That’s about the population of Florida or New York State. And people spend billions each year at dental caregivers to reverse the effects of the tobacco.

Quitting before you turn 40 reduces your risk of death from tobacco by nearly 90 percent. Quit before the age of 30, and those risks decrease by 97 percent, according to the Dental Health Foundation. The American Dental Association encourages its members, including your dentist in Asheville, to help patients quit as well as help them develop a plan for better oral health should they decide to continue smoking.

If You Can’t Quit

If you are one of the stubborn ones who refuse to give up this bad habit, consider your dentist’s advice:

·         Never miss a biannual checkup so your dentist in Ashville can watch for early signs of gum disease.

·         Use a tongue cleaner every time you brush, no fewer than two times a day.

·         Floss religiously twice a day.

·         Brush with a stiff-bristled toothbrush to scrub off nicotine stains.

·         Use toothpaste designed for smokers. (They have chemicals to tackle that hard-to-reach bacteria.)

·         Rinse with mouthwash for smokers throughout the day.

·         Between checkups, perform self-examinations, looking for unusual spots, lumps, bleeding or swelling on or around your mouth.

·         Check inside your mouth for red, white or dark patches that continue for two weeks or more.

—The Zöe Dental Team