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Impact of smoking on mouth problems – Part 1

• The role of smoking in the rise of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease is very prominently known.
• It plays a major role in many of the diseases and lesions in the mouth.
• Among them, the most common is the gum disease.
• The chances of dental implant failure are quite common in smokers when compared to non-smokers.
• The gum disease around these implants is more prominent in people who smoke.

The oral diseases and conditions listed below are due to smoking:
• Staining of teeth
• Staining of dental fillings
• Reduction of the ability to smell and taste
• Bad breath
• Gum disease
• Tooth decay
• The failure of dental implants
• Oral pre-cancer
• Cancer

What is Smoker’s palate?
• This is a condition where the palate becomes white.
• There are a number of little spots which rise from the surface.
• Each bears a tiny red spot at the core which marks the opening of the duct of the gland.

What is Smoker’s melanosis?
• It is associated with cigarette and pipe smoking.
• It appears as brown spots within the mouth.

Coated tongue
• It is the condition where there is a colored layer. This layer is composed of mainly:
– food particles
– bacteria
– debris from epithelium in the mouth

Oral thrush
• It is a type of fungal infection that occurs in the mouth. These lesions rise due to the:
– Irritants
– Toxic
– Cancer causing compounds that are present in the smoke
• Dryness in the mouth
• High temperatures of inhaling smoke
• pH change
• Change in immune response; and/or
• Change in ability to manage viral and fungal infections.
• Smoking, saliva and tooth decay
• Smoking tobacco has below effects on saliva.

How does smoking affect mouth problems?

• Immediately stimulates salivary flow;
• In long run, it does not affect saliva flow rates.
• Slightly reduces pH in long term.
• Reduces buffering power
• It means that the risk of having a tooth decay and dental erosion is increased slightly.
• Associated with lower amounts of salivary cystatin.
• Research reveals that increased counts of 2 types of bacteria are linked to tooth decay in smokers when compared to non-smokers. They are namely:
– Lactobacillus spp.
– Streptococcus mutans
It is interesting to note that smoking during pregnancy is also associated with a higher chance of tooth decay in preschool children.
The obvious effects of smoking are:
– bad breath
– stained tongue
– stained teeth
– a diminished sense of taste
– smoking maximizes the chance of having periodontal disease and also tooth loss.
– it disrupts healing after oral surgery.
– it minimizes the chances of dental implants to be successful.
– it can lead to oral cancer.
– smoking and chewing of tobacco products can change the look of a person.

There can be change in:
• person’s appearance
• yellowed fingers
• premature facial wrinkling

Smoker’s Experience

– More wrinkling around the face and mouth
– Tiny wrinkles extending from the upper and lower lips.
• The chances of premature wrinkling maximizes with smoking for longer periods and more number of cigarettes.
• About 20% of Australians experience some form of periodontal disease.
• Smoking is a major risk factor.
• It maximizes the chances of having gum disease in several forms.

These can be like:
– Tooth loss
– Tooth sensitivity
– Increased tartar on the teeth.
• Smoking maximizes the risk of getting gum disease by about 6 times.
• It also maximizes the severity of gum disease.
• This can lead to destruction of the tissues surrounding the teeth.
• This can lead to tooth loss and pain.
• Smoking can reduce the healing of any injured tissues present in the mouth.
• The injured tissues can be due to ulcers or an oral surgery.

Cigar smokers also have a higher chance of:
– periodontal disease
– staining of the teeth
– staining of tongue
– bad breath

Cancers of the Mouth and Throat Stop Smoking Dangers of Smoking

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