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Mouth ulcer near the chewing tooth gum also causing pain in head and in gum area when I open my mouth.
The mouth is the first organ that takes the brunt of smoking. The teeth, lips, cheeks, tongue are all affected by smoking. While most are worried about the discoloration of the teeth and lips, the damage is actually quite deep rooted literally and figuratively. The harmful effects of smoking reach the roots and eventually lead to tooth loss.
Let us look at some ways how smoking affects the teeth.
1. The black stains that are the tell-tale signs of a smoker are a major source of irritation to the teeth, especially along the gum line. On one hand, they do not allow proper cleaning of the gums and on the other, they are a constant source of irritation leading to inflammation. The result is there is damage beneath that layer of black stains, which does not become visible unless the signs of infection become evident pain, redness, swelling or even pus formation in some cases.
2. Smoking conceals the gum disease from becoming evident, thereby, reducing the chance of identifying and treating the disease at an early stage. This progresses to more severe periodontal disease, where the bones and supporting tissues that hold the tooth in place are infected and gradually the tooth weakens.
3. The nicotine in the smoke also promotes the growth of bacteria that lead to plaque formation and thereby worsen the pace at which gum disease happens.
4. Another aspect is that in smokers, the ability of the gums to heal is reduced drastically, thereby, leading to progressive incremental damage and eventual tooth loss.
5. Nicotine reduces the amount of minerals in bones and especially in postmenopausal female smokers, the bones are quite weak and the incidence of periodontal disease is also quite high.
To summarize, for smokers, the risk for gum disease is higher and the recovery of gum disease is delayed. The duration and number of cigarettes has a direct effect on the gum disease. Of note, the effects are more severe in females, compared to males.
The good news however, is that quitting smoking (and other forms of nicotine) can show immediate results, including complete reversal of the damage. Other ways to manage include:
1. Regular brushing and flossing, twice a day at least
2. Rinsing after each meal with either a medicated rinse or plain water
3. Clinical cleaning including scaling and root planing if required at regular intervals
4. Minor surgery if required if there is root exposure and/or deep periodontal pockets
5. Abstain from tobacco in any form
Smoking affects the gums and periodontium severely, tooth loss has a strong and direct correlation with smoking. Not many would have thought about the adverse effects of smoking on the dental system. While they sound very alarming, there is definitely hope, with the first step as quitting it. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dentist.
Here is a list of 10 Dental hygiene steps you can take to promote great oral hygiene.
1. Proper Brushing
One of the easiest steps to do to help your teeth keep clean. When brushing your teeth, position the bristles at an angle of 45 degrees near the gum line. Both the gum line and the tooth surface should be in contact with the bristles. Brush the outer surfaces of the teeth using a back-and-forth, up-and-down motion, making sure to be done gently in order to avoid bleeding. To clean the inside surfaces of the teeth and gums, place the bristles at a 45-degree angle again and repeat the back-and-forth, up-and-down motion. Lastly, brush the surfaces of your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove bacteria, which might cause bad breath.
Try to brush at least twice a day to prevent acid buildup from the breakdown of food by bacteria. However, if your work or activities prevent you from doing this, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water after eating to minimize the amount of food that would serve as substrate for the bacteria.
We know, it’s a chore and alot of times forgetful after brushing if rushing out the door or heading to bed. However, flossing can help you remove food particles and other detrimental substances that brushing regularly cannot. Flossing allows you to reach deep between your teeth where the toothbrush bristles cannot reach or even mouthwash cannot wash away. We recommend flossing at least once a day.
3. Avoid Tobacco
This will be a big favor to your teeth. One, it will save you from oral cancer and periodontal complications. Two, it will save you from the countless ill effects caused by the agents used to mask the smell of tobacco. For example, if you smoke a cigarette, you may use candies, tea or coffee to mask the smoky breath and odor. This doubles the amount of damage caused.
4. Limit Sodas, Coffee and Alcohol
Although these beverages contain a high level of phosphorous, which is a necessary mineral for a healthy mouth, too much phosphorous can deplete the body’s level of calcium. This causes dental hygiene problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Beverages containing additives such as corn syrup and food dye can make pearly white teeth appear dull and discolored. Therefore, it is best to choose beverages like milk, which helps strengthen teeth and build stronger enamel, giving you a healthy, beautiful smile and water which hydrates your body longer than sugary drinks.
5. Consume Calcium and other Vitamins that are good for the body
You need plenty of calcium for your teeth. It is essential for the teeth as well as your bones. It is better to drink milk, fortified orange juice and to eat yogurt, broccoli, cheese, and other dairy products. You can also take a calcium supplement, taking different doses according to your age and necessity as per prescription. Calcium and Vitamin D are necessary for maintaining the health of gums and teeth. Vitamin B complex is also essential for the protection of gums and teeth from cracking and bleeding. Copper, zinc, iodine, iron and potassium are also required for maintaining healthy dental hygiene.
6. Visit Your Dentist
You should visit your dentist at least twice a year to have a full hygiene treatment performed. Also at these appointments, a comprehensive exam is taken with x-rays to help detect and prevent future dental treatments from occurring.
7. Use Mouthwash along side brushing and flossing
Mouthwash is not particularly necessary and not all mouthwashes are useful. Mouthwashes containing Listerine our chlorine dioxide are very helpful because they help to kill and maintain the bacteria in your mouth. It can help maintain good breath as well as help maintain strong teeth. Mouthwash cannot do all the work but if your are already brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist and eating well, mouthwash is the cherry on top that will make your dental health great.
8. Having a toothache or noticing other dental symptoms
If you are having tooth and jaw pain make an appointment as soon as possible. Your dentist needs to diagnose the underlying cause and correct it before it turns into a greater problem.
9. Look at the Big Picture
Everyone understands that you should take care of your teeth to avoid toothaches, maintain your looks and keep dental bills at bay. Many people, however, don’t understand how crucial oral health is to our total health picture. Tooth problems can lead to diabetes, heart disease, systemic infections, an inability to eat or speak properly and other maladies – some life-threatening. Crooked or crowded teeth can contribute to gum disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss. Straight teeth are no longer just for looks.
10. Clean your tongue
Clean the surface of your tongue daily. By using a professional tongue cleaner you remove countless bacteria that otherwise live, particularly on the rougher top surface of your tongue. These can contribute to bad breath (halitosis) and negatively affect your dental health.