In recent years, there has been a significant anti-cigarette campaign. They contain about 400 harmful substances in addition to nicotine, 43 of which are carcinogenic. Smoking is linked to a variety of diseases, primarily affecting the respiratory organs, as well as having a negative impact on overall health. Despite this, the number of smokers continues to rise.
Cigarettes and tobacco smoke come into contact with the oral cavity first, so the negative effects are reflected back to the smoker. Vasoconstriction, or narrowing of blood vessels, causes less blood flow to the oral cavity and mucous membranes, resulting in gum inflammation, which can lead to periodontitis and tooth loss if left untreated and the causes that lead to it are not addressed.
According to recent research, smokers have a 3.6 times higher chance of losing their teeth than non-smokers, while women have a 2.5 times higher chance. In addition to mucous membrane inflammation, saliva secretion is reduced, the oral cavity is dry, and the tongue is coated and pigmented. Nicotine stomatitis, which includes brown hyperpigmentation on the lips, changes in the palate in the form of grayish-white spots, nicotine deposits behind the teeth that go from yellow to dark brown, and a very unpleasant and characteristic odor in long-term smokers, in addition to the above. Smokers are four times more likely than nonsmokers to experience malignant changes.
Passive smoking can cause changes in the oral cavity as well, though not to the same extent as active smoking. Japanese scientists recently investigated whether there is a difference in the oral cavity condition of children aged 3 years from smoking and non-smoking families. It was discovered that children who were exposed to passive tobacco smoke experienced changes in their oral cavity within four months. As a result, in the future, preventing passive tobacco smoke intake will be a priority in maintaining the oral cavity’s health.