Many people are aware of the harmful effects that smoking has on our health, however many people are unaware of the effects smoking has on the oral health of your mouth and throat. The mouth and throat play vital roles in our daily lives including breathing, talking, eating, drinking, chewing and swallowing. A smoker exposes their mouth to over 7,000 chemicals found in tobacco smoke. These harmful chemicals are contributing to common mouth and throat problems seen daily by health professionals.
Oral health impacts of smoking and all tobacco products
- Bad breath
- Increased risk of tooth decay or tooth loss
- Teeth staining
- Poor taste and smell
- Black hairy tongue
- Mouth and throat cancers
- The roof of the mouth becomes thickened and pale or white
- Gum disease
- Poor wound healing after dental surgery
- Premature aging
- Reduced salvia flow- therefore dry mouth conditions
Benefits of quitting
- Your sense of taste and smell will improve
- The health of your mouth, gums and teeth will significantly improve.
- Save significant amounts of money
How to quit and improve oral health
- Contact the QUIT line on 137 848
- Speak with a healthcare professional- GP, Nurse
- Encourage family and friends to support you with your decision.
- Regular teeth/tongue brushing and regular use of mouthwash
- Regular check-up at the dentist
Combining quitting smoking, brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and regular dentist check-ups will ensure you get back to a healthy mouth. Your risk of developing mouth/throat cancers after 10 years will be less than half of someone who continues to smoke. Overall your breath will improve, tooth staining and decay can be reduced and your food will smell and taste better.
This article was written by our registered nurse Erin McDonald. If you have questions about quiting smoking, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with specific advice targeted to your situation. Contact us today!