It’s Gum Disease Awareness Month, which means your team at Tieken Smiles is ready to march alongside you in the fight against this dangerous infection.
We’re taking this opportunity to call your attention to one of the most powerful, positive changes you can make to lower your risk for gum disease.
It’s to quit smoking and use of other tobacco products.
Dr. Tieken and our caring staff completely understand how difficult it is to end a nicotine addiction. That’s why we’re here to support you in any way we can for the sake of your oral and overall health.
Often, we find that full awareness to the dental dangers of tobacco is enough of a motivator for people to kick the habit.
So let’s start that journey together with the facts about smoking and gum disease!
What To Expect When You Use Tobacco
Here are some of the unpleasant dental problems you can expect if you’re a tobacco user:
*Expect Damage To Your Tooth Enamel
This is true for smokers because of how the smoke is able to easily enter your teeth in the tiny worn spots on your enamel.
But it’s especially true if you chew tobacco or dip. The texture of these forms of tobacco is rather rough by nature, which chips away at your tooth enamel one tiny piece at a time!
*Expect Problematic, Longer Recovery Time
You may know, if you’ve ever had to undergo any type of surgery, that doctors always advise against smoking because it makes it harder for your body to heal after medical procedures.
To optimize your body’s immune system capabilities, throwing out tobacco is invaluable.
That way, if you ever need oral surgery, you can recovery much more quickly and protect your gums from the bacteria that would be thrilled to enter your body through open cuts or irritated spots on your gums.
*Expect Discomfort & Deterioration Of Your Gums
It doesn’t matter if you smoke, enjoy the occasional cigar, chew tobacco, or vape, all of those habits are threats to your teeth. Enamel is strong enough to withstand all sorts of abuse, but not indestructible, especially against unnatural irritants in those harmful products.
Irritated gums are much more vulnerable to infection, which is why tobacco users are four times more likely to develop gum disease!
*Expect A Drop In Saliva Production
Every bite of food and every swig of a drink leaves tiny particles and trace amounts of residue that easily hide in the recesses of your mouth.
Luckily for us, our body’s wash all that away naturally thanks to our saliva.
But tobacco use will decrease your saliva production, leaving you less able to wash food and other debris from your teeth and making it easier for bacteria to thrive.
*Expect Dull, Dingy, & Discolored Teeth
You can’t see them, but your tooth enamel has microscopic holes, dips, and rough spots that have been weakened by years of use.
What that means for you is that every time you chew tobacco or when you inhale and exhale while smoking, each bit of tainted saliva and puff is passing right through those weak spots and getting inside your teeth. This leads to dark, discolored teeth and a dingy smile.
Take Action Today For The Sake Of Your Smile
*Stay Committed To Home Oral Hygiene!
Smoking also puts you at a greater risk for developing cavities, which is just another reason to do all you can to keep your teeth and gums as clean as possible.
That means brushing twice each day for two minutes at a time, and flossing once daily.
*Taper Tobacco Use, Or Better Yet, Quit The Habit For Good!
This is the whole point of today’s blog, but that doesn’t mean it goes without saying. We just want to encourage you once again to do whatever you can achieve that goal of a tobacco-free lifestyle.
For some, that might mean quitting cold turkey. Others find it easier to taper off until you reach the point of throwing out tobacco for good.
You can also take advantage of all the medical interventions available today. Talk to your doctor about your options in medical smoking cessation methods.
Keep Up With Dental Check-Ups!
Your decision to throw out tobacco is one of the best changes you can make for your health and your smile.
That said, no level of dedication to home dental care and a healthy lifestyle will match the preventive power of routine dental cleanings and exams at Tieken Smiles.
You can’t remove tartar buildup with consumer toothbrushes and dental floss. It requires professional equipment and detection technology that we house in our League City, TX dental office.
Your teeth and gums also need the close watch of highly-skilled hygienists and Dr. Tieken in order to catch oral health problems early enough to fully eradicate them.
The bottom line is that your best smile depends on a team effort between you and our staff. So join us in the fight against gum disease by scheduling your next dental check-up!