All members of the dental care team, including hygienists, assistants, general dentists, and specialists, play an important role in the detection and treatment of oral cancer. In addition, patient education is a critical part of the management process.
What Does Smoking Do to Your Teeth?
Increased plaque and bacteria cause a wide range of oral health issues:
Yellowed or stained teeth is one of the most obvious signs that someone is a smoker. The chemicals in tobacco cling to the enamel in your teeth, causing them to stain over time.
Cigarette particles remain in the mouth long after a cigarette is finished, which cause the breath to take on the characteristics of a cigarette.
Beyond that, the longer-term effects of smoking also contribute to bad breath. The overgrowth of bacteria in the smoker’s mouth leads to horrible breath. Unfortunately, no amount of brushing or gargling with mouthwash will get rid of the smell because it is coming from gum disease, oral sores, and decay. The only real way to turn things around is to stop smoking entirely and work with a dentist to address the underlying issues it caused.
Smokers are twice as prone to gum disease as non-smokers. The risk increases with every cigarette you smoke, and gum disease treatments do not work as well on smokers.
Why is this? Smoking decreases your mouth’s ability to fight off bacteria, which allows it to build up on teeth and eventually make its way to the gums. If left untreated, gums can pull away from teeth and cause the underlying bone structures to weaken.
Not only does smoking increase your risk of things like tooth extraction and oral surgery, it also slows down your body’s ability to recover from these procedures. It also lowers the rate of successful dental implant procedures.
The most severe form of smoking-related mouth issues is oral cancer. The risk of developing oral cancer increases when smoking is combined with heavy drinking.
Oral cancer begins as a white or red patch in the mouth accompanied by difficulty chewing or swallowing, numbness in the jaw, and even pain in the ear. While there are certainly other causes for these symptoms, it is recommended that anyone who has these symptoms for more than two weeks should see a doctor. The earlier cancer is detected, the more effective treatment will be.
smoking and covid.
Because Covid-19 is a respiratory disease, it has been particularly dangerous for smokers and vapers, whose lung health is already compromised. Smoking impairs in multiple ways lungs’ ability to fight off infections putting users at a much higher risk of a severe case of Covid19 if infected.
According to the World Health Organisation, cigarettes also increase the risk of hand-to-mouth transmission of the virus. Exhaling smoke also aids in spreading the virus in the air. COVID-19 is spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth when people infected with the virus cough or sneeze.
Remember: Giving up an addiction is hard, but people have successfully quit smoking, so there’s no reason why you can’t, too.