Periodontal Care: Aim for the Best
As we partake in the holiday season celebrations, we are undoubtedly surrounded by temptation at every turn. Cookies, pies, wine, cocktails and social smoking or vaping might be how you unwind; however, you might want to consider changing habits for 2020.
“Research has been released showing the negative dental health effects of not only smoking, but now vaping,” says Dr. Quyen Su, Periodontist with Periodontal Associates in Mississauga. “The risks of cancer and oral disease are highly understood by most smokers, but oral disease is something that vapers should not ignore. Early reports indicated highly increased levels of dental decay amongst vapers, and those have long-term health implications beyond a simple fix.”
Taking some time to familiarize yourself with the health ramifications of smoking and vaping is critical to ultimately deciding if it’s worth the risk. The following is a look at what we know to date.
Butt Out for 2020 to improve your Dental Health
We know that you won’t quit smoking until you’re ready, but as you get ready to go into a New Year, we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you about the proven links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer, and heart disease.
Beyond the unsightly yellow stains, smoking weakens the protective enamel on your teeth, leaving your teeth more susceptible to bacteria causing tooth sensitivity and tooth decay, which typically leads to gum disease. What’s most frightening for most smokers’ loved ones is the increased risk for oral cancer. With more than 7,000 chemicals contained within tobacco smoke, research has found that more than 70 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer.
A Look at Vaping and your Dental Health
It’s not just smoking that has our dental team concerned. We are now looking at the effects of vaping on the mouth and how those habits are affecting our younger generation of patients.
“While e-cigarettes are thought to be a better alternative to smoking because they don’t result in bad breath, tooth discolouration, and plaque build-up traditionally associated with cigarettes, they still provide very valid health risks,” says Dr. Su. What we, as periodontists find concerning is that vaping specifically has been found to reduce the mouth’s natural ability to heal following a periodontal surgery, greatly diminishing the rate of success following periodontal treatment.
What we hope our patients take away from our conversations is that, while touted as a healthier option, they are ultimately still inhaling nicotine and other chemically-enhanced substances through the mouth, making their teeth and soft tissue the first point of contact. We do know that nicotine, regardless of how it is ingested, reduces blood flow, which negatively impacts a mouth’s ability to fight off bacteria and leads to chronic dry mouth, both of which put you at an increased risk for gum disease.
Plus, while regulatory bodies have deemed the added flavours safe for oral ingestion, the effects of inhalation are unknown and early research indicates that the flavour themselves can lead to irreversible cellular damage in the mouth.
If you are vaping or smoking, please share that information with our team. It is our pleasure to help you find the best treatment options for your dental health. Knowing your complete health history is vital and appreciated. If you have any questions about vaping or smoking and the potential impact to your dental health, please do not hesitate to connect with us at any time.
Your comfort matters to us, so we invite you to visit our periodontal practice in Mississauga and speak with our team of experts in periodontal disease. As experts in periodontal treatments, specializing in dental implants, gum recession, crown lengthening, bone and gum grafting, the Chao pinhole surgical technique and more, we’d love to help you address your dental and smile concerns. Call us at 1-800-341-7471 or connect via email at [email protected]. Until then… keep smiling!