bad oral health

How Exactly Does Smoking Affect Oral Health?

January 28th, 2014

While smoking has been found to lead to various unhealthy consequences, it also has been linked with resulting in poor oral health.

Smoking and tobacco-based products have been shown to result in gum disease. It damages bone and soft tissue of teeth and interferes with the functioning of gum tissue cells. This leaves smokers more susceptible to infections, including periodontal disease, and also tends to lessen blood flow to the gums, which would hinder wound healing.

The Journal of the American Dental Association published results showing that cigar smokers have experienced tooth loss and alveolar bone loss, which is the bone within the jawbone responsible for anchoring teeth. The rate at which bone and tooth are loss for cigar smokers are very similar to cigarette smokers. Pipe smokers also are in danger of tooth loss; moreover, they are also at risk for oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancer, even if the smoke is not inhaled. Other oral health consequences included halitosis, stained teeth, and gum disease.

While some smokers believe that using smokeless tobacco products tend to be safer, that is not the case. Similar to cigars and cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products, including chewing tobacco, contain at least 28 chemicals that have shown to increase the risk of oral cancer, along with cancer of the throat and esophagus. Smokeless tobacco can also irritate gum tissue, leading to the receding and pulling away of teeth. When gum tissue recedes, teeth roots are left more exposed, which increases the chance for tooth decay to occur. The Journal of the American Dental Association also showed that chewing tobacco users were four times more likely than nonusers to have tooth decay. Smokeless tobacco also contains sand and grit, which can easily wear down teeth.

Even though you may be a tobacco product user, it is never too late to quit. Studies have shown that 11 years after quitting, former smokers were found to have risks of developing gum disease that were not too different from those who had never smoked. Cutting out tobacco products can truly lead to healthier oral health. Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.


Poor Oral Health Can Impact School Performance

August 31st, 2012

A recent study that appeared in the September 2012 issue of the American Journal of Public Health shows a strong correlation between poor oral health and academic performance. The survey looked at 1,500 low income students in the Los Angeles area. School performance and attendance were compared to oral health.

According to the study,

"Children who reported having recent tooth pain were four times more likely to have a low grade point average -- below the median GPA of 2.8 -- when compared to children without oral pain, according to study results."

This also contributed to missed school for students and also missed work for parents. On average, kids missed between 2 and 2.5 days of school. This is in part due to dental care not being easily accessible for a variety of reasons, such as insurance or transportation.

There is discussion of including more oral health education in schools. This is easy way to spread the message and importance of healthy teeth and gums for life!

Americans Have Bad Oral Health

July 12th, 2012

The American Dental Association has just released a survery that shows Americans aren't up to par with their oral health. Overall, most scored low on the true/false survey. Many did not even know how often their teeth should be cleaned.

Nine out of ten adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have cavities in their teeth. Also, almost half of children between 2 and 11 years old have cavities in their baby teeth.

Some other statistics found from the survey include:

- 75% have no idea at what age they should take a child to the dentist for the first time. According to ADA recommendations, a child's first dentist visit should be within six months after the first tooth appears or before the child's first birthday.

- 65% of people think their toothbrush should be replaced twice a year, when it should be replaced every three months.

To help battle this problem, the ADA launched a new website aimed at educating people. The goal is to help improve oral health knowledge and awareness in the United States. Also, you can read the full article here.

Of course, if you have any questions regarding your oral health, you can always contact us at 781-237-9071 or! We are more than happy to assist you.

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