Effects of Smoking and Drinking on your oral health

Effects of Smoking and Drinking on your oral health

Posted by Dr. Lee Jan 31, 2022

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Drinking and smoking are two of the most common habits (bad ones) humans have taken up for centuries now. Although, these are quite popular and common practices among adults both cause significant damage to our health including our teeth and gums. 

We are well aware of the adverse effects of drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco. However, the toll these practices take on our oral health is nothing short of dangerous. 

Smoking Tobacco and other products that contain nicotine are very harmful for our internal organs. However, smoking causes significant damage to the oral health of almost everyone who smokes regularly. Burning tobacco carries hundreds of harmful chemicals and dangerous gases for our health. Given that it passes through our mouth first, the first line of damage is caused there. 

Our mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. The growth of bacteria is controlled by maintained welk hygiene practices and our saliva. The saliva which is supposed to protect the mouth becomes a carrier of harmful chemicals. The result is damage to healthy cells inside our mouth and body. Smoking also causes damage to gums by disrupting the normal blood flow to the exposed cells. This makes gums more prone to diseases and decay. Some of these damages can even elevate to cancer. 

Drinking is also a very common practice. People with alcoholic disorders are susceptible to deadly diseases and health problems. However, people who don’t drink much or drink regularly can also experience oral health issues which can be caused by even occasional drinking. Most alcoholic beverages contain high sugar contents which encourage bacteria buildup inside our mouth. Some alcoholic drinks are acidic which can damage the tooth enamel over time. 

Alcoholic drinks also dehydrate our body as well as our mouth. As a result, we experience a lack of saliva flow inside the mouth. Lack of saliva means growth of bacteria which can increase plaque building between our teeth and cause damage to our gums and the enamels. 

In the case of smoking, we should avoid it completely to protect our health as it can cause severe damage to our inner organs, especially the lungs and the heart. Heavy drinking can also cause similar damage including cancer. However, occasionally drinking alcohol or alcoholic beverages may not lead to severe health issues but can still cause damage to our oral health. 

If you are still drinking a glass of wine or a beverage at a party make sure you wash your mouth properly after the drinks. Drink ample amounts of water to hydrate your body and mouth. If possible, use a mouthwash before bed. 

Regular checkups from your dentist may detect any causing damage early. If you are into regular smoking and drinking it is highly recommended to visit your dentist periodically and have a thorough checkup. 

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