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Smoking and dental health

Smoking and dental health

Smoker with healthy teeth? Not very likely. If in order to have healthy teeth it is necessary to take care of them and go to the dentist constantly, the more or less avid smoker will not enjoy dental health equal to that of a non-smoker patient. This is demonstrated by a German study which we will elaborate on in the course of the article.

Smoking is harmful even in small doses but when the number of cigarettes consumed settles on 15-20 daily damage to the teeth obviously increases. The Journal of Dental Research also says so.

Healthy teeth: smoker vs non-smoker

The German study, which we mentioned above, examined a sample of 23,000 Germans aged between 20 and 70 years following the evolution of the state of dental health for a period of eight years. As we age, the oral situation worsens and, in the case of a smoker, the effect of nicotine will leave visible traces on the teeth. Starting from the 32 teeth with which we are all equipped, the German study has drawn conclusions on the state of health of the teeth over the time and age of the patients under examination:

  • at fifty years the avid smoker (15-20 cigarettes per day) has on average 25 healthy teeth against 28 of the non-smoker;
  • at sixty years the average of healthy teeth drops significantly: 7 healthy teeth for the heavy smoker against 22 for the non-smoker.

Women who smoke, according to the study, would suffer less damage to dental health than men: before the age of 50 they have an average of 25 healthy teeth (while non-smokers have an average of 27 healthy teeth), after the age of sixty they have 11 healthy teeth against 18 of non-smokers.

Smoking: the damage count

The damage caused by smoking does not spare the oral cavity and perioral tissues (around the mouth), smoking ages the skin of the face, compromises its brightness.
The context forces us to focus attention on the teeth and gums, the inner part of the mouth, while knowing how much this bad habit, because it is such, damages the general health of the person.

The damage count identified 6 effects induced by the cigarette, read and reflect:

  1. yellowish spots: they are also called dental discolourations and are particularly showy, they damage the enamel and are highly unsightly. Do you smoke? The smile will not help.
  2. Caries: when smoking, the bacterial plaque and tartar increase, ergo caries.
  3. Gingival infections: with its vasoconstrictor effect, nicotine reduces the flow of blood and oxygen to the periodontium (it consists of alveolar bone, periodontal ligament, root cement and gum). The reduction of oxygen proliferates the bacteria that resist aggressive and affect the gums. Gingival bleeding is a cliché for the smoker, so the probability of developing periodontitis (the risk is three times greater than for non-smokers). Periodontal therapy on a smoker has a lower success rate, the positive result is reduced by 50%. And when periodontitis is at the most advanced stage it causes gingival retraction with endangering the dental seal which can evolve in the worst case in edentulous (partial or total loss of teeth).
  4. Unpleasant breath and alteration of taste and smell.
  5. Night grinding or bruxism: the incidence of problems like these is higher in smokers. The risk is to have sore jaw and facial muscles.
  6. Oral carcinoma. Do you smoke? Your health is a little more endangered.

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