Whether you’ve heard it from your parents, a friend, an old teacher, or a coworker; you more than likely know that smoking has been proven to be detrimental to our internal and external health. Smoking has been linked to a higher risk of poor respiratory health, oral cancers and many other health problems. Smoking has also been linked to various dental health problems, including gum disease, tooth erosion and possibly even tooth loss.
A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed over 16,000 people and came away with some shocking statistics. Each subject was between the ages of 18 and 64; and out of these 16,000, a third of all smokers in the group were found to be more likely to suffer from tooth discoloration, toothaches, infected gums and jaw pain. With all of these dental health problems occurring in a large percentage of smokers, one would think that smokers would be routine visitors to their local dentist; however, the study proved otherwise.
Out of all of the smokers in the group, at least 20 percent admitted to not making a single visit to the dentist in at least five years. These statistics are truly shocking, especially when compared to the 10 percent of non- and former-smokers who admitted to not having visited the dentist during the same time span.
According to the study, many smokers say they cannot afford to visit the dentist’s office for routine check-ups. This finding is no surprise; as other studies have found that low income workers are more likely to be smokers. It’s obvious that, while smokers may be aware of their poor dental health, many would rather spend their money financing their habit.
No matter your smoking status, you should attend routine visits to the dentist. Though smoking has shown to increase one’s chance of suffering from dental health issues; without proper dental care, anyone can be at risk.
To ensure that your smile remains healthy on all fronts, schedule an appointment with Dr. Siegel.