While the amount of individuals who choose to start smoking on a regular basis has decreased greatly over the last decade there remains around 16% of the adult population continuing with the habit of lighting up. It is well known what the health risks entail for those who smoke cigarettes including heart disease, stroke, and various cancers but smoking takes its toll on oral health as well. A smoker is twice as likely to develop gum disease as opposed to those who have never smoked or those that have quit smoking. There is no question that if you smoke you should quit for your overall health but if that does not seem like a viable option at this time there are some helpful hints for helping to prevent gum disease and other health issues within your mouth.
- First and foremost see your dentist for regular checkups every six months. The CDC reports that smokers are 19% less likely to see a dentist than non-smokers. Caring for your teeth should be a priority and regular checkups play an important role in that care.
- The toothbrush and toothpaste you choose really matter. Most dentists will recommend a soft bristled brush for regular use but smokers may need a brush with stiffer bristles to tackle the tough stains left behind by tar in cigarettes. There are special pastes made just for smokers to help eliminate this tar residue and protect teeth from the other contaminants in cigarettes.
- Rinse away bacteria. Adding a mouth rinse to your routine can further help eliminate bad bacteria from your teeth and gums.
- Avoid foods that stain. Damage from smoking to the enamel of teeth can be worsened by other enamel weakening and staining foods like coffee, red wine, and high sugar content beverages such as energy drinks or sodas. Acidic foods also weaken teeth and contribute to damage.
As a smoker, caring for your teeth should be a high priority as smoking can lead to gum disease, cavities, tooth loss, and even cancer of the mouth or throat. Consult with your dentist for more care tips and a plan to help stop smoking for good. Cedar Park Premier Dentistry is happy to be of service and offers a wide variety of dental care and cosmetic procedures designed to keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime. For an appointment or consultation contact Cedar Park Premier Dentistry and get on the right track for great oral health.