At this point, it should come as no surprise to anyone that smoking is not a healthy activity. It’s common knowledge that smoking becomes an addiction and increases the risk for both lung and oral cancer. And you have probably seen the yellow teeth indicative of a heavy smoker. But did you know that this dangerous habit significantly damages every area of not just your mouth, but also the ones of your children? It’s dental destruction!
Cigarette smoke has long been classified as dangerous to inhale in excessive amounts. Cytotoxic chemicals are released by the hundreds when smoking, and these chemicals negatively impact the immunity of the body and its overall functionality. When the immunity is reduced, a smoker’s body is less able to combat germs and bacteria. This means that gingivitis-causing bacteria are much more harmful, and periodontal disease is much more likely. It also means that oral wounds someone has will take longer to heal, especially tooth extractions, and any dental implants they have can simply fail altogether, causing even more jaw problems. The prognosis is even worse for those smoking at least ten cigarettes a day – these people are much more prone to Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG), which is quite painful. Dental Health and Wellness Boston offers services designed to treat periodontal problems, both on our end and for you to use at home.
Those are reasons enough for smokers to get a little nauseous. But second-hand smoke means everyone they love is at risk of developing cancer as well! According to the American Cancer Society, every year, as a result of second-hand smoke, 46,000 people die of heart-disease and 3,400 die of lung cancer. And babies exposed to the smoke are at a higher risk of developing bad asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and lower respiratory tract infections.
Now, as if all of that wasn’t bad enough, new Italian research reports that kids who are exposed to second-hand smoke at home grind their teeth in their sleep. Out of 498 children studied over six months, of the ones exposed to “moderate or severe” amounts of cigarette smoke, a whopping 90%ground their teeth while asleep. In worst cases, teeth grinding, or bruxism, can lead to increased temperature sensitivity, reduced enamel, chipped teeth, and severe facial pain or jaw problems. The worst of these problems is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD). Dr. Jill Smith and her skilled team at Dental Health and Wellness Boston are an overall health and wellness practice, and they are trained to treat TMJ, as well as more common dental issues and cleanings, whether you smoke or not. But they can’t help you if you don’t help yourself!
Get the memo? Smoking is bad for you – and terrible for your kids.