Smoking is a harmful habit that can cause a lot of health problems, some of which can lead to poor oral health. And while the consequences of smoking and tobacco use are not often highlighted in relation to the health of the teeth and gums, this does not make them less dangerous.
Nowadays, there are many resources for patients who wish to quit smoking and visiting a dentist in Richmond is one of them. Experienced dentists, such as those at Sheen Dental, know how harmful smoking can be for the teeth and gums and can offer valuable advice and support to patients who wish to quit, but find it difficult to do on their own.
Why is smoking bad for the teeth and gums?
Smoking for a prolonged period of time can cause stains on the teeth, bad breath as well as a reduced sense of taste. However, these are not the only side-effects of smoking. Cigarettes and tobacco products contain nicotine, a substance that comes in direct contact with the gums and can lead to gum disease.
Nicotine has the ability to deposit around the gums, causing them to be sensitive, red and inflamed. This process can affect the bone and separate the bone tissue from the tooth. Last but not least, smoking is the major cause of oral cancer.
Smoking cessation and the dentist
Patients who have tried to quit smoking over time and have failed, may consider visiting a dentist in Richmond and ask about smoking cessation. Studies have shown that smoking cessation provided by dentists can help smokers quit successfully and lower their risk of resuming smoking in the future.
Smoking cessation is customised for each patient and involves the dentist interviewing the patient about their use of tobacco as well as their medical history. The point of this treatment is the building of a trusting relationship between the patient and the dentist that will eventually lead to monitoring and quitting smoking.
Smoking cessation techniques differ from patient to patient. Dentists usually suggest behavioural changes such as on-the-go brushing as well as prescribed or over-the-counter medications or nicotine patches.