April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. In our blog post, we share what you can do to reduce your risk of developing oral cancer.
We all know that smoking has detrimental effects on our overall health, but have you considered the toll that it can take on your smile? Vaping, though often advertised as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, also comes with consequences for your oral health. Here are a few ways that both of these bad habits can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums.
A stained, yellow smile is one of the telltale signs that someone is a smoker. The chemicals found in both cigarettes and vapes build up on your teeth over time, turning your pearly whites dull and dingy. Professional whitening treatments can help, but the best way to restore your bright white smile is to quit smoking or vaping.
Another side effect of the chemical buildup caused by smoking and vaping is tooth decay. The ingredients in cigarettes and vaping liquid are very sticky and adhere to your teeth easily. Cavity-causing bacteria love to feast on plaque buildup in your mouth, so smoking and vaping leave you more vulnerable to tooth decay and weakened tooth enamel.
Nicotine found in cigarettes and vapes causes your blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow to the mouth. Proper blood flow is necessary to maintain healthy gums, so nicotine intake leaves your gums more susceptible to disease. Smoking and vaping also lead to dry mouth, which exacerbates gum-related problems.
Oral cancer, which affects the soft tissues of your lips, tongue, cheeks, and/or throat, is one of the most serious conditions linked to smoking and vaping. If you notice white or red patches in your mouth, persistent sores, unexplained bleeding, or any other symptoms of oral cancer, see your dentist immediately. Early detection is crucial when it comes to oral cancer.
Comprehensive Dentistry at CarolinasDentist
The best way to protect your smile against the effects of cigarettes and vaping is to quit. While you work toward kicking these habits, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is of the utmost importance. Schedule your next checkup and cleaning at CarolinasDentist today! With offices across North Carolina, you’re sure to find a CarolinasDentist near you.