It’s no secret, if you smoke then you are dramatically increasing the risk of health issues arising with your mouth, teeth, gums, and overall oral health.  But despite all the warnings and risks that are associated with the habit of smoking, millions of people choose to do it anyway.

Why?  Because they are addicted!  And if it was easy for someone to stop smoking, then I don’t think we’d have the problem that we have today with the amount of smokers that are in the United States.

But the impact of smoking on your overall oral and dental health is significant, in case you didn’t know.  And I strongly feel that a discussion on the subject is in order here.  So let’s talk about the dental health risks associated with smoking, and why you need to consider quitting – and quitting sooner rather than later.

Smoking is, without a doubt, one of the most damaging things you do regarding your overall oral health.  As you take the smoke in through your mouth, every pore and portion of your mouth is impacted from your teeth to your gums, and from your tongue to your cheek tissues.

And this may seem obvious to you, but quitting the habit of smoking is (inversely) the single best thing you can do to improve your overall dental health.  Quitting smoking will dramatically, and very quickly, improve the health of your teeth, gums, and overall dental health.

One of the primary risks, and most frequently associated impact associated with smoking and oral health is gum disease.  When you smoke cigarettes, the smoke will interfere with blood flow to the gums, which in turn affects normal gum cell function. The result is that the gums of smokers are more likely to become infected and damaged.

Smoking will also dramatically decrease the ability of your gums and mouth to heal themselves.  As a result, smoking can (and will) lead to periodontal disease, gum tissue loss, and ultimately tooth loss.

If you smoke a pack and a half a day, you are six times more likely to develop gum disease than a non-smoker. If you smoke a half-pack a day, you are three times more likely to develop gum disease.

Of course, smoking dramatically increases your risk of developing oral cancer or leukoplakia, which are small, white lesions in the mouth. Smokers are six times more likely to develop an oral cancer than a non-smoker. Roughly 90 percent of patients with oral cancer use some form of tobacco.

So do you, or someone you know, smoke?  Have you found them to be concerned with the impact of smoking on their dental health, or perhaps their overall health?  What advice have you found yourself giving them regarding quitting smoking?