Smoking and your mouth
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Tobacco smoking remains the single most preventable cause of illness and death in Australia. Smoking affects the whole body including the mouth. Smoking causes bad breath, stained teeth, reduced taste and changes to the gums.Quitting smoking reduces the risk of oral cancer and gum disease.
Tobacco use is one of the causes of bad breath. Smokers have an increased risk of calculus (tartar) build up which can make bad breath worse.
Constant use of mints to freshen breath may lead to problems with tooth decay. If you use mints, make sure they are sugar free.
The good news! Stopping smoking and gently brushing teeth will help the breath. A dental check will ensure there are no dental problems causing bad breath.
Smoking by-products stick to the surfaces in your mouth making it hard for taste buds to work. Your sense of smell may also be affected.
The good news!Taste sensation starts to improve 48 hours after your last cigarette.
Healthy gums are pink and firm. Healthy gums need good circulation to carry oxygen and nutrients in and to take waste products away. Good circulation is also a defence against infection.
Smoking affects the blood and oxygen supply to gums. Smoker’s gums may appear thickened and vary in colour from very pale to purple in severe cases. Gum disease affects gums, bone and the tissues supporting teeth.
Smokers are up to 6 times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers.
Long term gum disease can result in tooth loss. Smokers lose more teeth than non-smokers.
The good news! By stopping smoking and with dental care, the progress of gum disease can be stopped and further damage prevented.
Smoking is a major cause of oral cancers. The risk of oral cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked, the length of time people have smoked and if they are heavy drinkers.
Signs and symptoms of oral cancer vary. They may be white or red patches in the mouth that don’t go away, sores that don’t heal, changes in the way teeth fit together or lumps and swellings. Diagnosed in the early stages, oral cancers may often be successfully treated. Oral cancers can be detected during dental check ups.
The good news! Quitting smoking reduces the risk of oral cancer.
Smoking often causes complications after tooth extraction, failure of dental implants and slows healing after gum disease treatment.
The good news! Quitting smoking reduces the likelihood of problems after dental treatment.
Smoking affects your whole body as well as your mouth – your baby’s health will suffer too.
Give your teeth, gums and mouth a healthy chance …… think about quitting smoking.
Call the Quitline 13 78 48
The Quitline offers information, support and advice on how to quit smoking. If you’re on your mobile, ask Quit to call you back or visit the Quitline website.