Smoking is more addictive than heroin. That’s what the headline said in a 1987 article in the New York Times. That’s why; even though we know cigarettes are bad for your health, many people truly struggle to quit. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), roughly 36.5 million adults in this country are addicted to the powerful effects of nicotine.
Your Las Vegas Dentist, Dr. Hadley, knows this struggle firsthand; many of our patients are smokers that would like to quit. The effects of smoking on your general health have been widely publicized; let’s look at some of the oral health effects to watch for and discuss how a good Las Vegas dentist can help.
How Smoking Affects Your Oral Health
You already know that you should visit your dentist at least twice a year for teeth cleaning and an oral check up. This is even more important if you are using tobacco products. Some of the effects of smoking on your teeth and gums include:
- Stained teeth
- Bad breath
- Slower healing
- Dulled sense of taste
- Gum disease
We sometimes see complications from oral surgeries with our patients that use tobacco; they sometimes struggle to heal. Tobacco products can cause gum disease because smoking seems to interfere with normal cell production. These symptoms seem to be related to a decreased blood flow to the teeth and gums, which negatively affects the healing process.
Can a Las Vegas Dentist Help?
The American Dental Association (ADA) has a good slide deck with suggestions for how to stop smoking. In the meantime, your Las Vegas dentist, Dr. Jeffrey W. Hadley, and his experienced team can help you improve your oral hygiene and watch for more serious signs of illness that smoking can cause. Here are some of the standard dental procedures we offer that can help keep you healthy:
- An oral exam will help monitor the overall health status of your teeth and gums. We discuss your overall health and oral hygiene, answer any questions you may have, and look carefully for gum disease or other problems. At a minimum, you should have an annual oral exam; we recommend twice per year for tobacco users.
- Teeth cleaning is particularly important for smokers because tobacco does increase staining and the potential for tartar build up.Teeth cleaning is conducted by a trained oral hygienist in our practice who will carefully remove tartar build up, loosen plaque, and painlessly restore your best smile.
Ask your Las Vegas dentist about other cosmetic procedures that will particularly benefit tobacco users. We offer teeth whitening, veneers, and periodontal gum procedures that can help you maintain your oral health. The talented team at Smiles by Dr. Hadley is here to help you look and feel your best. Contact us to schedule your next appointment.