You’ve heard that tobacco use is one of the main causes of diseases worldwide. Between 2005 and 2015, cigarette use dropped by 5% among U.S. adults. Its current prevalence of around 15% remains high. It is under the target of 12% or below that Healthy People 2020 has set. This article explains things to know about smoking and oral health.
Tobacco products contain more than 7,000 chemicals. These include tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, and other poisons. The average smoker consumes around 2 mg of nicotine a day. This is by inhaling tobacco smoke. Nicotine enters the bloodstream and is transported to the brain. Nicotine levels peak within 10 seconds of inhaling the smoke.
Oral Effects of Smoking
Cigarette smoking has a number of adverse oral effects. These include oral cancer, gum disease, and gingivitis. There is tooth staining, poor healing after some treatment, and mucous lesions. Smokeless tobacco use erodes tooth enamel. It causes bone damage, tooth loss, and more.
Nicotine has the above systemic effects. It can have a number of local ones. These relate to your oral health. They include dry lips, burning, mouth ulcers, and throat irritation. Nicotine promotes the formation of tumors. There was a literature review on its effects. It suggested a connection to tissue health.
Cigar and Cigarette Smoking and Oral Health
You make cigarettes from chopped tobacco rolled up in paper. There are dangers of direct inhalation to reckon with. There is the impact of second-hand smoke to reckon with. Breathing problems, cancer, and gum disease are relevant to this. So are heart problems. It is dangerous for infants and children with asthma. A cigar is a tobacco roll in a wrapper made of tobacco. “Premium” or large cigars can deliver twice the tar and 10 times the nicotine. They deliver 5 times the carbon monoxide of a regular cigarette.
People smoke pipe tobacco in a pipe-like device with a bowl. This type of smoking is popular in Asia and the Middle East. People in some parts of Africa smoke pipes. Water pipe tobacco consists of shredded tobacco leaves. It has candy, spice, or fruit flavors. Pipe smoking and cigarette smoking have similar health effects.
Your Dentist Can Help You Stop
Dentists can help people stop smoking. They identify the habit among their patients. They can advise them to quit and provide further treatment information. Most dental practices in the U.S. follow the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ algorithm, which has 5 stages. They apply it to engage people who are addicted to nicotine. This algorithm is the 5As: ask, advise, assess, assist, and arrange. We break them down below.
The dentist starts by asking. He or she documents the patient’s smoker status. The dentist urges the patient to quit. They do this in a strong, clear, and personalized way. They assess the situation. Is the smoker willing to try to stop? The dentist assists them with counseling and medication suggestions. They arrange follow-up contact by phone or in person.
Do you want to know more about smoking and oral health? How has it affected yours? Give Olympia Fields a call. We have a wide variety of quality treatments. We can help improve your oral health. Preventative care services to heal your teeth, gums, and bone are available. Contact us today to learn more.