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Oral Health Risks Associated with Smoking and Vaping

Posted by Nicole

Young Man Smoking a Cigarette Outdoors It’s common knowledge that smoking and vaping are not good for you. Both have negative effects on our overall health and well-being. Today, we’re here to talk about the impact they have on oral health specifically.

Smoking and vaping put you at higher risk for gum problems, tooth loss, and oral cancer. If you have oral surgeries or significant oral procedures, you are more likely to get an infection or take longer to heal.

Untreated tooth decay is higher in people who smoke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 40% of adults aged 20 to 64 who currently smoke cigarettes have untreated tooth decay

Why is it that smoking and vaping put you at higher risk for oral problems?

We’ll break it down in more detail so that you have a better understanding.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by an infection and it destroys the tissues and bone that surround your teeth and hold them into place. Because smoking and vaping cause a lack of oxygen to the bloodstream, infected gums can’t heal as efficiently. Furthermore, smoking and vaping can lead to more dental plaque than non-smokers and can cause gum disease to worsen more quickly.

Tooth Loss

Smoking leads to gum disease. Once the gum tissue and jawbone are weak, they lose their ability to hold teeth in place.

Oral Cancer

Smoking and vaping products contain toxins and carcinogens. Repeatedly exposing the tissues of your mouth to these can eventually lead to patches in the mouth or on the lips that can turn into cancer.

Complications in Healing

Smoking and vaping make it harder for the immune system to fight infections. Additionally, since we already learned that there is a lack of oxygen to the bloodstream, healing takes longer. Both of these can also make healing more painful.

In a perfect world, we’d tell you to simply quit. Reality tells us, it’s not that simple. While we recommend trying to quit smoking or vaping, in the meantime, it’s important for you to visit us regularly so that we can keep your teeth and gums healthy and monitor for any worrisome signs. We won’t judge you or make you feel bad.