Does Smoking Affect Tooth Decay?

When it comes to smoking, especially when smoking tobacco, your oral hygiene is always at risk. Smoking can, and usually will, affect your oral health. Especially when you smoke over long periods of time, you are at a higher risk of things like mouth cancer, gum health problems, the loss of teeth, decay of the roots and tooth complications that may require oral surgery. Here at Ipswich Family Dentist, our dental practitioners will always advise against smoking, but we understand that it is a personal choice that many people enjoy. If you are a smoker, we recommend that frequent visits to your local dental practice are always on the agenda and your oral hygiene is even more rigorous than if you were a non-smoker.


The Ways That Smoking Causes Tooth Decay

The health facts are clear: you are twice as likely to experience gum disease if you smoke. Smoking tobacco supports bacteria in the mouth, plaque and tartar build-up. This leads to cavities, tooth decay and the loss of teeth. Smoking also interferes with blood circulation, affecting the normal function of gum tissue and causing infections and restricting blood flow. This means that healing from surgery or injury will also be a slower process for smokers.

Teeth cleaning is therefore twice as important as it is to non-smokers and this includes brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing and using mouthwash. Because tobacco causes tooth discolouration, the aesthetic results of restorative dentistry treatment are not always ideal. As well as tooth decay, smoking can also increase the risk of cancer in the mouth, which is aggressive due to the high number of lymph nodes and blood vessels in the neck and face.


It’s Better to Quit

From a dentist’s perspective, it is always better to quit smoking, to decrease the risk of health problems. We recommend that you:

  • Get ready to quit by setting a date
  • Seek support from your friends, family, your doctor, your dentist and if applicable, your counsellor
  • Practice behavioural distractions when the urge to smoke comes up
  • Make use of medications – both prescription and over the counter – and use as directed
  • Prepare for setbacks and seek help for overcoming obstacles or relapses


See Your Dentist More Regularly

The main priority when you’re a smoker worried about oral health and hygiene, is to ensure regular dental checkups. Choose a reliable local dentist like Ipswich Family Dental, that you can trust and who will support you and your oral health every step of the way. You can book an appointment for a check-up or for teeth cleaning and we will even help you with tips to quit.


Contact the professional family dental clinic in Queensland today and book in your next dental checkup with Ipswich Family Dental Practice.

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