Most people know that smoking is bad for them, but often don't know about the huge hit their oral health can take as a result. If that weren't bad enough, the damage that's done from smoking might not be limited to the smoker themselves. If someone in your household smokes, this is what the entire family could be getting exposed to.
Smoking is terrible for both your teeth and gums. The tar and smoke tend to stain teeth, making them visibly discolored. But the real problem comes with the gums. Cigarette smoking damages the gums and decreases one's ability to fight off an infection, increasing the risk for developing gum disease dramatically. In short, if you're not taking excellent care of your teeth — or even if you are — you might develop gum disease and cavities as a result of smoking.
The Secondhand Smokers
Unfortunately, the problem here isn't limited just to the smoker. While a lot of the damage is done by inhaling the smoke through the mouth directly, that's not the only way that smoking hurts the teeth and gums.
Secondhand smokers receive just as much if not more of the toxic fumes of cigarette smoking as the smoker themselves. What this means is that when a family member inhales the cigarette smoke, even if it's through their nose, it impacts their entire body. Circulation tends to worsen and inflammation in the body rises. Both of these things can impact the health of one's gums and lead to gum disease down the road.
What to Do
Obviously the most logical thing to do here is to give up smoking entirely, but that's not always possible for all people. So here's the next best thing you can do.
Start by visiting a dentist with your entire family. Everyone needs to have their teeth and gums taken care of. This will help to ward off advanced gum disease and can protect your family's oral health.
From there, the person who smokes should make an effort to do it outside at a distance away so that the rest of the family isn't impacted. They should also continue to visit the dentist a bit more frequently than the average person in order to help mitigate the damage that's being done to their oral health.
Smoking is bad for smokers, but it's also terrible for the folks who breathe secondhand smoke. Help to counter its impact by making an appointment with a dentist who offers family dentistry for your whole family today.