Are you a smoker or have you been a smoker? There is plenty of information out there about the bad effects of smoking. We all know the reasons we should quit but what happens after? In this blog, I explore the most common things that happen to your mouth when you stop smoking. Some things are fairly obvious, like less teeth staining. However, other things are more subtle such as changes to the type of bacteria in your mouth. If you are considering quitting smoking you can talk to your dentist about it. They can provide you with advice and monitor your oral condition. Need a caring, family dentist? Call us at Riverstone Family Dental on 8678 3538.
When you smoke, you have a greater risk of getting periodontitis (gum and jaw bone infection). If you get this condition and continue to smoke, it can rapidly become aggressive and lead to tooth loss. When you stop smoking, you allow your gums to recover from this disease. Initially you may get mouth ulcers, bleeding gums and salivation, however, if you stick with the plan to quit, then you can look forward to:
- less bad bacteria and more good, cavity-fighting bacteria in the mouth
- better immune response to prevent further gum infections
- keeping your teeth for longer because the gums are stronger
- less trips to the dentist for gum therapy
- not needing to buy antibiotics or other products when your gums flare up
To help make this transition as smooth as possible, we recommend you visit your dentist for a scale and clean. This will help remove existing plaque buildup, ready for a speedy recovery of your gums.
Your breath will freshen up when you stop smoking. Breathing, exercising, kissing and socialising are all affected by smoker’s breath. So when you quit, you will feel more confident in social situations and not have to worry about bad breath. Your sense of taste and smell will also improve. When you eat out, you will be able to smell and taste the food in a different way. Moreover, you will be able to take deeper and clearer breaths and are less likely to suffer from dry mouth. Less mucus buildup means your airways feel bigger and exercising will feel a lot easier. If you suffer from any airway problems or asthma, you will see an improvement in symptoms.
Stained teeth and fingers are two things smoker’s hate. When you stop smoking, you will have less staining of your teeth. It is important to get your dentist to clean the pre-existing stains from when you previously smoked. This will provide you with a fresh slate which you can maintain. Whitening treatments are very popular with people spending hundreds of dollars each year on whitening agents. If you quit smoking, you are already one step closer to achieving a beautiful, white smile.
I hope you have found this blog helpful. A study published last month in the Australian Dental Journal had two main points which stuck with me. The first one is that the most important factor for successful smoking cessation is your willingness to quit. This beats any kind of medication or therapy. The second one is how easily you overcome failed attempts. Remember the reasons why you want to quit and if you stick it out, in 3 years you would have halved your risk of developing cancer of the mouth. That is just one benefit.
Need a local family dentist? Give us a call at Riverstone Family Dental on 8678 3538.