Smoking causes more than the characteristic “Smoker’s breath”

Patients of our practice are probably familiar with our medical history form, which asks if you smoke and how many a day. Smokers-breath-1-300x200

You’ve probably also been asked about your smoking habits by our hygienist, encouraging you to quit.

We know quitting smoking isn’t easy, but here’s a couple reasons why you should make the effort.

Gum Disease

Smoking not only causes bad breath, but increases your risk of tooth loss by reducing your body’s ability to respond to infection in the mouth.

Because your body can’t help fight off the bacteria that cause gum disease, you may find that teeth are more likely to become loose, move and eventually fall out!

Cancer

Smoking significantly raises your risk of developing oral cancer, which includes cancer of the mouth, throat, salivary glands, tongue or lip.

In the early stages, oral and throat cancers can have symptoms similar to a toothache or they are painless. Many cases of oral cancer are seriously advanced by the time they are detected, which can make life-saving treatment difficult. That’s why, as part of your regular dental health check appointments, your dentist performs an oral cancer screening, which includes assessment of your lymph nodes down your neck, as well as the ling of your mouth. If oral cancer is identified early, it is almost always treatable.