A study conducted by the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Bangalore, shows that over 50 per cent of Indians are smokers. While smoking harms your entire body it is more visible on smoker’s teeth and lips. Teeth & Lip discoloration is a common problem for chain smokers.
Apart from discoloration of the teeth and lip, smoking cigarettes or cigars causes a lot of oral symptoms and side effects, which include: Sticky tar deposits, brown tooth stains, red inflammation on the roof of the mouth ,delayed healing of the gums, chronic bad breath , faster tooth decay than non-smokers. The symptoms are gross manifestations of the biological changes occurring in the body due to continuous addiction to smoking.
Smoking reduces the flow of saliva. Saliva is important for cleaning the lining of the mouth and teeth and protects teeth from decay. Continuous smoking reduces the flow of saliva and thus handicaps its key function. It decreases blood flow to the gums and cuts the supply of vital nutrients.
Smoking also raises the mouth's temperature, damaging and killing important oral tissue cells.
Chain smokers normally use the mouth rinses and washes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride which can also stain teeth.
Although the suggestion is to Quit Smoking. For those who find it difficult to quit, dental treatments or home remedies can be tried at home depending on the cause of discolouration...
- Reduce your number of cigarettes in a day.
- Brushing and floss regularly and get your teeth cleaned by a dentist every 6 months.
- Massage the gums with your fingers after brushing, as this increases the blood supply and hence nutrition to the gums.
- Don't forget to clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner; this is as important as cleaning your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating anything to reduce the accumulation of food residues in the mouth.
- Avoid tooth decaying foods like carbohydrates & sugars.
- Retentive sticky foods (such as raisins, caramels, toffees, slowly dissolving hard candies, etc.) that are not quickly diluted by saliva. Avoid them.
- Vitamin C helps gums to stay healthy. Smoking reduces the level of vitamin C drastically. Eat plenty of green veggies and fruits. Gorge on foods rich in Vitamins.
- Bread, pastries, aerated drinks, doughnuts, sweet rolls and processed cereals, should be avoided.
- An intense smoker should encourage beverages like lassi, buttermilk and home-made squashes atleast once in a day.
- Drink at least 10 glasses of water to flush toxins away. Apply Vaseline to your lips regularly.
- Clarified butter is also a very good home remedy. Apply a little every night to soothe lips. This helps keep lips moisturized.
- Apply lemon juice on your lips at night, lemon has bleaching properties. Apply Vaseline or lip balm to your lips regularly.
- Use Over-The-Counter whitening gums or a chair side dental tooth whitening 60 min treatments once a while
- Eat a small piece of cheese or chew some sugar-free gum. Cheese provides calcium to replace the minerals lost by the bacteria produced acid, and helps to even up the bacterial balance in your mouth. Chewing gum stimulates the flow of saliva
- Wash your mouth with normal tap water. Application of Margosa leaves and basil leaves by rubbing them tenderly on your lips for 5 minutes will get back your pinky pink lip color.
- Always use a tooth brush with M shaped bristles as this cleans the teeth more effectively than ordinary tooth brushes with flat bristles. Do not use hard tooth brushes as these will damage the gums.