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Does Smoking Connect With Dental Problems?


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#1 Darrell E. Bradford

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:49 AM

Hi

 

It might look as a common question, but I would like to get a crystal clear answer. My uncle is a chain smoker. He usually smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day. I think for the last 5 years he is in the same stage. Couple of weeks before, he is suffering from dental problems as well. Is smoking related to dental issues? My confusion was due to an article I read the other day. It describes the consequences of smoking and the related problems(http://www.discovery...ental-problems/). Is it much related to dental problems? 

 

It would have been better if you can suggest me some recovery methods too.

 

I'm afraid that, whether it's possible for him to stop it suddenly. I believe that it will take much time. If someone can help me out, kindly reply at the earliest. Any feedback is appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance


Treatment ... requires patience ;)


#2 malkynn

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 12:12 PM

That article describes the affect on periodontal disease and periodontal disease is a dental problem.

Google a bit more about periodontal disease and It will all make more sense.

As for advice, none of us are trained to give professional level smoking cessation advice. Some dentists take particular training in it, but few have beyond a basic level of smoking education.
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#3 Ostracized

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 01:09 PM

Actually UofT spent a lot of time training us about smoking cessation and it's my understanding that the RCDSO considers smoking cessation medications (Wellbutrin, Chantix) to be within the purview of dental prescribing. That said I've never done so and I'd rather refer to a family physician.
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#4 malkynn

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 02:50 PM

Actually UofT spent a lot of time training us about smoking cessation and it's my understanding that the RCDSO considers smoking cessation medications (Wellbutrin, Chantix) to be within the purview of dental prescribing. That said I've never done so and I'd rather refer to a family physician.


Neato.
McGill covered it very minimally, 1 lecture, and at least at that time it don't think dentists were allowed to prescribe smoking cessation drugs in Quebec, maybe that's changed since.
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#5 cookiemonster99

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 03:00 PM

Hi

 

It might look as a common question, but I would like to get a crystal clear answer. My uncle is a chain smoker. He usually smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day. I think for the last 5 years he is in the same stage. Couple of weeks before, he is suffering from dental problems as well. Is smoking related to dental issues? My confusion was due to an article I read the other day. It describes the consequences of smoking and the related problems(http://www.discovery...ental-problems/). Is it much related to dental problems? 

 

It would have been better if you can suggest me some recovery methods too.

 

I'm afraid that, whether it's possible for him to stop it suddenly. I believe that it will take much time. If someone can help me out, kindly reply at the earliest. Any feedback is appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance

 

YES, smoking is related to dental problems. Some of the biggest problems are periodontal disease and oral cancer and other issues such as staining of teeth, dry mouth, which leads to more decay etc etc. There's a whole host of problems that is linked to smoking. 

 

A simple google search will lead to you many many many resources on how smoking is related to oral and dental problems. 

 

As for me, I personally believe that smoking cessation is really up to the motivation of the patient. If a patient has 0 motivation don't even bother trying to convince them to quit, it won't work. As for patients that show motivation, a referral to their family physician to get them on a cessation program is the best course of treatment in my opinion. You will find different approaches from different people. 

 

I'm sure there are dentists out there that receives smoking cessation training but i think ultimately i think it's a joint effort between the dentist and the family physician to make it successful(and of course patient motivation) 


Edited by cookiemonster99, 11 January 2017 - 03:02 PM.

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#6 smileon

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 07:09 PM

The US Centre for Disease Control categorically states that smoking is a key cause of severe gum disease in the US (Canada not likely that much different) - Since gum disease affects bone structure that support our teeth it goes without saying that smoking has a direct and important impact on teeth. However regardless of whether you involve your gp or your dentist or both, having had 2 parents who were smokers, I know firsthand that if the person isn't self-motivated to quit, little info and support that you provide will make a difference 



#7 TheStakesareHigh

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 12:28 PM

Hi

 

It might look as a common question, but I would like to get a crystal clear answer. My uncle is a chain smoker. He usually smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day. I think for the last 5 years he is in the same stage. Couple of weeks before, he is suffering from dental problems as well. Is smoking related to dental issues? My confusion was due to an article I read the other day. It describes the consequences of smoking and the related problems(http://www.discovery...ental-problems/). Is it much related to dental problems? 

 

It would have been better if you can suggest me some recovery methods too.

 

I'm afraid that, whether it's possible for him to stop it suddenly. I believe that it will take much time. If someone can help me out, kindly reply at the earliest. Any feedback is appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance

Crystal clear answer: YES!

 

Have a small bit of training (still ongoing) in smoking cessation and wanted to help with a couple tips that might encourage quitting. Note: I also have a family member who is a chain smoker and as much as you would like them to quit and talk to them about it, as others have said in this thread it is self-motivation that will get them to quit but you can always encourage it and I think dentist should attempt to as patients see them (bi-)annually for check-ups ideally. Keep in mind that in 2000, the Royal College of Physicians said "Cigarettes are a highly efficient nicotine delivery devices and is as addictive as drugs such as heroin or cocaine". Smokers are drug addicts (yes, this has negative connotations but its the reality) and it can be difficult to quit.

 

Effects:

Oral manifestations: Smoking can cause halitosis, periodontal disease, acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, discoloration, dry sockets, oral cancers and implant failure. There will also be a tendency to eat more frequently which increases demineralization of teeth (causing cavities) due to plaque formation, process described below. 

When a person is quitting there will be withdrawal symptoms and having a cigarette will eliminate these. A patient may falsely claim that the cigarette is making them better when in reality the body is reducing levels of nicotine, increasing levels of oxygen, and removing tar from the lungs (coughing/phlegm). Many people who try to quit experience weight gain because nicotine is an appetite suppressant and reduces smell and taste. Once someone tries to quit, smell and taste are restored 48 hours after, and your appetite returns to normal increasing the chance that the smoker will eat bigger portions and/or eat more frequently. 

 

Quitting:

Patient/friend/family has to believe she/he wants to quit. One way to do this is ask them to write down the benefits and the negatives they get from smoking and then the benefits and the negatives of quitting smoking. You can help them with the negatives of smoking with these below.

The negatives: the oral effects noted above (one reason periodontal structures are affected is because smoking constricts capillaries reducing blood flow to the gingiva/gums), systemic health effects (95% lung cancers are smoking related, COPD, pancreas, pharynx, larynx, bladder, and uterine cancers; impotency, higher risk of heart disease, reduced fertility) and then environmental (family and friends are all breathing in second hand smoke that is more damaging than direct inhalation as there is no filter and burns at a lower temperature increasing pH and chemical saturation of the smoke=more damaging to second hand smokers).

The positives are typically associations smokers makes when they are in fact reinforced behaviors during smoking as nicotine releases dopamine in the brain which stimulates a sense of pleasure/reward reinforcing those situations. That is to say smokers tend to fixate on positives around them while smoking to help them argue that its a positive experience to them when in fact situations like social interactions (a common benefit among smokers) happen inevitably without smoking. Stress relief (another written benefit) is also false, as smoking increases heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Keep in mind though, that if you sit down with someone who is writing these down you don't want to attack the person's beliefs. Simply point things out and encourage them to repeat this information back to you. 

 

Benefits of quitting, blood pressure will decrease, you'll have more energy (restored oxygen levels), and reduce the risk of cancers over the long-term (to name a few benefits).

 

NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) has been shown to increase the likelihood of quitting by as much as 2 folds. Replacing cigarettes with nicotine containing products such as gum, patches, tablets, lozenges and e-cigarettes might reduce some of the withdrawal effects. E-cigarettes are still contentious but here is a funny article anyways talking about harm reduction, including a cardiac surgeon's perspective.

http://www.torontosu...arette-benefits

 

Some behaviour tips during attempts to quit include the 5 Ds to reduce urges. Every time your uncle has an urge to light up a cigarette, tell them to drink water, delay as much as possible, distract themselves, take deep breathes, and don't dwell on the thought. 

Also the person might relapse into smoking again and this is normal. Often it takes several attempts to quit.

 

I'm not done my training and so I'd recommend seeing a physician but this might get you started. Support is also a big factor and telling them that you'll help them through it helps a lot (if you can). Unaided success rate of quitting smoking is only 1-3%. Also as mentioned in the article you provided the link to, alcohol consumption should be reduced because with cigarette use it increases incidence of oral cancers as it thins the mucous membrane allowing more chemicals to enter the body through the mouth when smoking.

Hope this helps!






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