Your Oral Hygiene


July 13, 2020

How does smoking affect our oral hygiene?

Most people are aware of how smoking causes discolouration of the teeth due to the tar and nicotine in cigarettes, but did you know there are many other ways in which smoking affects the teeth and gums?

Tobacco smoking reduces blood flow to the teeth and gums meaning gum disease or periodontal disease is often masked in smokers. This gum disease affects the bone structure that supports your teeth, and in severe cases, can cause your teeth to become wobbly and fall out. Smoking, therefore, causes gum disease to not only be hidden but also progress faster than in non-smokers.

Along with this, the restricted blood flow means the immune system is impaired so any ulcers, cuts and infections in the mouth take longer to heal, and recovery from dental procedures is much slower. 

Because tobacco is carcinogenic, smoking is one of the leading causes of oral cancer. Quitting smoking reduces this risk significantly but doesn’t bring it to zero, so it is still important to have regular dental appointments where the dentist will examine the mouth for any suspicious sores or lumps.

So how can stopping smoking improve my oral health?

The good news is that quitting smoking can stop gum disease from progressing as fast and improve dental hygiene. With the increased blood flow to the gums from stopping smoking, the characteristics of gum disease will be more obvious. Don’t be alarmed if your gums are redder than usual or bleed when you brush your teeth after you stop smoking.

A thorough clean at the dentist to remove plaque and decrease inflammation can reverse or at least slow its effects. Your body will also be able to fight off the infection much faster and so will heal quicker than when you smoked. This will keep the gums healthy and teeth strong. 

Fresh Breath

Your breath will be fresher. Cigarettes encourage the growth of bacteria inside the mouth and the smell of cigarettes lingers on your breath.

Pearly Whites

Stopping smoking means the yellow/brown staining of teeth will not get any worse and can even be reversed. Your dentist or hygienist will be able to tell you about whitening treatments they may offer.

Home kits and professional applications are usually available and could even be funded with the money saved from stopping smoking!

The C Word

Tobacco is the leading cause of oral cancer. Which means by quitting, you are massively reducing your chances of further complications down the line.

Explore Your Senses

Smoking dampens your ability taste and smell! Meaning your favourite foods won't taste as good as they used to! We always encourage all our quitters to try new things when quitting. Why not explore your senses. Find some new recipes to cook. Start exercising and breathing in that fresh air!

What else?

The list of benefits to quitting smoking are endless. There many other health benefits as well! Find out these here

How can 28Days help?

We're here to help smokers quit for good and find a better quality of life. Don't believe us? Hear from others who have used our service in that past: Our heroes

Our team are committed to helping people.

Click here to find out how we can help you.