Cigarette Smoke Alters Oral Microbiota

Fresno Dentist Serving Madera, Clovis, Visalia, Tulare & Nearby Areas in California

Tue, 05/17/2016

Cigarette smoke alters the oral microbiota, increasing risks for gum disease, oral cancer, tooth decay, and tooth loss. You already know that cigarettes are a primary cause of tooth discoloration and chronic – near untreatable – halitosis. You may also know that tobacco smoking is linked to an increased risk for oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Unknown to this point was that cigarette smoke actually alters the oral microbiota as well – which may be a key reason it causes all of these serious oral health problems.

Researchers from National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) recently looked into the bacterial makeup in the mouths of smokers, former smokers, and lifelong nonsmokers and found that smokers had much higher levels of 150 potentially harmful bacteria and much lower levels of 70 helpful bacterial strains. How this impacts oral health overall is as of yet unknown, but a simple look at the host of problems linked to smoking may give some idea.

If you are a smoker, now is the time to quit. Every day we learn more about the harmful impact of this habit on ourselves, those around us, and the environment. If you have long struggled with smoking, increased attention to your daily oral hygiene routine and a commitment to routine visits with Fresno dentist Dr. Gregory Miyake are essential. While nothing can be done to prevent the damage caused by smoking if you continue to use tobacco, there are treatments that can be effective at addressing these issues once they occur.

If you are a smoker who is overdue for a dental visit, please contact Gregory G. Miyake, DDS online or by calling 559-224-0103 to schedule a cleaning and examination today.