People these days are increasingly feeling aware of the importance of having a good and attractive smile. A nice smile can be a wonderful asset to possess. It could make people feel that you’re reliable and confident. In some cases, it could even become that intangible yet decisive factor that settles things in your favour. Thus, it comes as no surprise that many Australians have taken to visiting their dentists or orthodontists regularly for acquiring attractive smiles. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to obtain a warm and friendly smile. For most people, merely following the prescribed oral health practices can be sufficient for having white teeth and healthy gums. So, as long as you brush and floss your teeth each day, you will usually not experience any issues with your teeth, gums or your smile. But, people who smoke will need to take an additional step for obtaining a bright and cheerful smile. This will typically involve eliminating the habit altogether.
Researchers have linked cigarette smoking to various harmful diseases. Lung cancer and heart disease can be two of the most common conditions that develop in people who smoke habitually. However, not many people realise that smoking can affect a person’s oral health as well. However, smoking can be an important contributor to different dental diseases. At the very least, smoking can cause your teeth and gums to discolour. Thus, your smile will hardly look attractive if you smoke on a regular basis. Having said that, quitting the habit can be very tough. The difficulty often arises because smokers cannot rid themselves of their addiction to nicotine – an active ingredient in tobacco. This addictive substance triggers chemical and behavioural dependence among smokers. So, smokers will experience pleasure when exposed to this substance and gloom when deprived of it. This re-wiring of the brain makes smoking a difficult habit to get rid of.
Some people eliminate this habit by sheer willpower. Others need to formulate more comprehensive strategies. This involves understanding their individual smoking patterns i.e. when they smoke, the frequency with which they smoke and the activities during which they smoke. Heightened levels of awareness can make you more mindful of this habit. Similarly, you could consider introducing restrictions to your smoking by smoking only in certain places or at certain times. Alternatively, you could relieve your stress-levels by indulging in some exercise rather than smoking. You could even begin focusing on reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke gradually.
If you can quit smoking altogether, you will be able to escape various issues and concerns that affect your oral health. Some of the oral health issues that typically afflict smokers include:
- Oral cancer
- Periodontal disease
- Smoker’s keratosis i.e. the whitening of the oral mucosa
- Poor healing after tooth extractions, mouth and gum surgeries
- Stained teeth
- Bad taste and,
- Bad breath
Not all smokers have the ability to kick the smoking habit by themselves. If you fall into this category, don’t delay in visiting the nearest Fairfield dental practice. Your dentist could help you overcome this habit through prescription medication, counselling etc.