It’s no secret that smoking cigarettes is linked to dozens of negative health effects in ways that smoking alternatives like electronic cigarettes don’t. Smoking tobacco disrupts the body’s natural systems, causing damage to many of organs including the lungs, skin, liver, and sexual organs. The hundreds of chemicals contained in cigarettes and tobacco also wreak havoc on your oral health, causing a number of problems including gum disease, mouth and throat cancer.
The best thing to do to rebound from these health problems of course is to quit smoking cold-turkey. Science has shown that the human body begins to recuperate immediately after a person stops smoking and within 24 hours the risk of heart attack has decreased, oxygen and carbon monoxide blood levels have normalized, along with blood pressure, pulse rate, and body temperature.
Quitting smoking can be difficult, but smokers can ease the journey and still gain many of the health benefits by exchanging traditional smoking for smokeless cigarettes. So far research suggests that smokeless cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are safer than cigarettes because they don’t contain as many harmful chemicals or burn smoke, relying instead on vapor.
Here are some of the oral health problems that vapor smoking can help you avoid:
There aren’t many people who want to kiss someone who just smoked a cigarette. One of the most frequent complaints about tobacco smoking is bad breath, caused primarily by the smoke and nicotine. Particles get left behind on the smoker’s mouth and lungs, allowing the odor to linger and providing a perfect nesting ground for bacteria.
Tongue and Teeth Stains
Everyone wants a pearly white smile, but smoking makes that difficult. Substances in cigarettes find their way into microscopic openings on teeth enamel and leave behind an unappealing brownish-yellow discoloration.
Dulled Taste and Smell
Your sense of taste and smell are linked, and the chemical compounds found in traditional cigarettes dull both of them. Through a process called vascularization, the taste buds lose their shape, becoming flatter and worse at their job. In addition smoking damages mucous membranes, impairing smell.
Slower Healing in Mouth
Smoking not only disrupts the body’s normal functioning, it also makes it particularly difficult to heal from a wound or surgery. Oxygen is essential in most body functions, especially healing, and cigarette smoke lowers the amount of oxygen carried by narrowing the blood vessels. Furthermore, smoking also inhibits neutrophils, the cells that protect the body against infection.
Gum Disease, Bone and Tooth Loss
Studies have firmly linked smoking as a risk factor for gum disease. By lowering blood flow to the gums and depriving them of oxygen and nutrients, tobacco smoking increases the gums’ vulnerability of developing bacterial infections.
Smoking and chewing tobacco are the biggest causes for a whole range of oral cancers including mouth, throat, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, tongue, lips, and salivary glands. These diseases are linked to the highly toxic carcinogens found in cigarettes, cigars, and tobacco products. The more you smoke, the higher at risk you are.
Avoid these risks altogether by considering electronic cigarettes instead.