You’ve probably seen the warning on cigarette packages: “Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.” What smoking-related diseases come to mind? Lung cancer, probably. Emphysema, maybe.
But did you know that half of periodontal (gum) disease in smokers is caused by smoking? Chronic (long-term) gum disease can lead to the loss of your teeth.
Smoking and tobacco can lead to the gum diseases by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. More specially, it appears that smoking interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells. This interference makes smokers more susceptible of infections, such as periodontal disease, and also seems to impair blood flow to the gums – which may affect wound healing.
Smoking leads to the basic problems:-
-Inflammation of salivary gland opening on the roof of bucal cavity
-Increased risk of Leukoplakia i.e. white patches in the mouth
-Increased loss of bone within the jaw
The most common problems seen by the doctors in these days are
-High risk of oral cancer
Tobacco’s greatest threat to your health may be its link to oral cancer. About 90% of people with mouth cancer and some types of throat cancer have used tobacco. The risk of developing these cancers increases as people smoke or chew more often or for a longer time. Smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop these cancers. About 37% of patients who continue to smoke after cancer treatment will develop second cancers of the mouth, throat or larynx. This compares with only 6% of those who stop smoking. Tobacco smoke from cigarettes, cigars or pipes can cause cancers anywhere in the mouth or the part of the throat just behind the mouth. It also can cause cancers of the larynx, lungs, esophagus, kidneys, bladder and several other organs. Pipe smoking also can cause cancer in the area of the lips that contacts the pipe stem.
Dental implants can replace lost teeth in people who smoke. However, smokers should know they have an increased risk that the procedure will fail. Before getting implants, it is very important to quit smoking.