The harmful effects of smoking on dental health

The harmful effects of smoking on dental health

Written by: Rikka Mehta, Head of Marketing Communication, Dabur International

Rikka-Mehta.jpg  It should come as no surprise that smoking is bad for dental health and oral hygiene. Tobacco products contain harmful chemicals that can cause severe damage to health including oral cancers, inflammation of salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth and leukoplakia or white patches inside the mouth. Among the less severe oral problems are gum diseases, accumulation of plaque and tartar, bad breath, slow healing after a tooth extraction or other procedures, and discoloration of teeth. Smokers may also lose their sense of smell and taste.

While quitting smoking altogether is the most effective way to avoid related health hazards, regular visits to the dentist’s office to check for signs of developing gum disease and oral cancers can go a long way towards preventing diseases. Those who smoke should consider visiting their dentists more frequently in addition to getting their teeth cleaned professionally (Oral Prophylaxis). Smokers should strictly stick to an oral care routine that includes brushing, flossing, and using a tongue cleaner and mouthwash on a regular basis, at least twice daily.

Regular smokers should never overlook the importance of a toothbrush that is specifically designed to address oral hygiene problems caused by smoking. Toothbrushes with stiff and strong bristles are ideal for tackling the hard stains left by tar from tobacco. The toothbrush should also be able to reach the difficult areas in the back of the gums.

Smokers must also use toothpastes that are specifically formulated to address their specific oral care problems. Formulations with potent herbs and less fluoride content effectively remove yellow stains, fight germs and prevent plaque, thereby improving the health of teeth and gum, in addition to providing long-lasting fresh breath. Including a good mouthwash in one’s oral care routine is another method to combat the bad breath experienced by many smokers. Mouthwashes that are targeted just for smokers are also available in the market.

It is important to remember that some food items such as coffee, tea and soda can also cause staining and erosion of teeth and smokers must try to avoid them to prevent adding to the damages already caused by regular usage of tobacco products. In addition, smokers should also avoid indulging in food items that are highly acidic in composition as they destroy the enamel of the teeth, thereby causing cavities.

Smokers are further advised to watch out for sores around the face, mouth, and neck. If the sores persist beyond a couple of weeks, they indicate more serious problems. People who smoke regularly should also check for recurrent bleeding, swelling, lumps and lesions inside the mouth. Red, white or dark patches on the insides of the mouth, under the tongue, and on the cheeks, that last more than two weeks must be examined by a dentist. Numbness or pain in any part of the mouth or lumps on the lips and gums should never be ignored either.

Dabur Herb’l Smokers toothpaste is specifically formulated to address oral care problems faced by regular smokers. The formulation contains salt, blackberry bark and mint that are very effective in removing yellow stains, fighting germs and preventing plaque, thereby improving the overall health of teeth and gums, in addition to providing long-lasting fresh breath. It has no fluoride and no harmful chemicals.