Smoking and the effect on oral health

Cigarettes usually contain about 10 mg of nicotine. However, you don’t actually get all of this when you smoke. The tip burns throughout smoking, which leads to some wasted nicotine. Some nicotine is inevitably caught in the filter

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The most dangerous ingredient in tobacco is nicotine which is a toxic, colorless or yellowish oily liquid.

Cigarettes usually contain about 10 mg of nicotine. However, you don’t actually get all of this when you smoke. The tip burns throughout smoking, which leads to some wasted nicotine. Some nicotine is inevitably caught in the filter

Effects of Nicotine

Nicotine happens to be a vasoconstrictor which means it contracts blood vessels reducing the flow of blood to both gum and bones. With decreased blood supply, our bodies can easily mask the symptoms of a disease and reduce our body’s ability to fight infections.

Effect on the heart: when you consume nicotine, it leads to an increase in heart rate and reduction in the amount of blood reaching your heart.The heart, therefore, works harder. It could also have far-reaching life-threatening conditions such as oral cancer in the mouth or the lung as lung cancer. Respiratory diseases and cardiovascular diseases are also very common.

An article published recently in the journal of dental research indicates that smoking plays a role in significantly reduced salivation. Dental researchers have shown that the average daily saliva flow rate is between 0.5 and 1.5 litters. A reduction means our mouths cannot efficiently sweep away plaque as it was meant to do.

Even though brushing and flossing are essential for oral health, lower amounts of saliva mean dental plaque will still naturally accumulate putting us at risk for gum disease and tooth decay.

Smokers, who suffer from dry mouth, are at a greater risk of tooth decay and periodontitis  STEPS TO QUIT SMOKING

Studies have shown that people who smoke regularly are more likely to suffer from increased tooth loss than non-smokers. The Journal of Dental Research found that the association between smoking and tooth loss was 3.6 times higher for male smokers and 2.5 times higher for female smokers. Smoking downplays the cardinal signs of gum disease, and a smoker may appear to have healthy gum tissue just like any other non-smoker until the gum disease is in its advanced stages known as periodontitis.

The effect of smoking has also been closely associated with oral cancer especially when taken regularly with alcohol. Source (Journal of Dental Research)

We have seen from practice that frequent tooth decay, halitosis (mouth odor), periodontitis or outright tooth loss tend to help influence smokers to quit the social habit

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