fotolia_33570733_xs1-resized-600Smoking is not only bad for your heart and lungs but your mouth too. Here are the alarming statistics:

  • Smokers are three times more likely than non-smokers to lose all their teeth. This figure has not changed from a decade ago.
  • Smoking can result in periodontal gum disease, bad breath, staining of the tongue and teeth, delayed healing and complications with certain dental procedures, plaque build-up, and a diminished sense of taste and smell.
  • About 28,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer a year and 7,200 die from oral cancer each year.
  • It has been reported by the Academy of General Dentistry that a one-pack-a-day smoking habit can cost you the loss of at least two teeth every 10 years. Smoking can also lead to seven times the risk of developing gum disease compared to non-smokers.
  • About eight out in ten people with mouth and throat cancers are tobacco users. On average, 40 percent of those with the disease will not survive more than five years after being diagnosed, as quoted by the American Dental Association.
  • According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that about 8 out of 10 oral cancers could be prevented by avoiding both tobacco and alcohol use. Many of the chemicals found in tobacco can damage DNA directly. Scientists are not sure whether alcohol directly damages DNA but they have shown that alcohol helps many DNA-damaging chemicals get into cells more easily. This may be why the combination of tobacco and alcohol damages DNA far more than tobacco alone.
Whether you’re a smoker or not, it is important to have regular cleanings and oral cancer screenings but if you smoke it’s even more crucial that your dentist monitor your periodontal health for signs of oral cancer.]]>