WHY IS SALIVA IMPORTANT?
Smoking poses a problem to general health. It contributes to:
- Heart Disease
- Stroke and
- One third of all cancer deaths to name a few
In NSW in 2006, smoking caused over 5,000 deaths representing 14.0% of all male and 8.0% of all female deaths
What is less well known is the effect it has in the mouth
The main damage is to the Gums and mucosa, or lining of the mouth:
- Five times more oral cancers than non-smokers and
- Suffer much greater incidence and degree of Gum Disease
Other than staining, smoking does not affect the teeth
However, it does have a profound effect on Saliva.
Smoking promotes the formation of the thicker ‘mucous’ form of saliva at the expense of the thinner watery ‘serous’ type with a subsequent reduction in saliva’s acid-buffering capacity
This effect of nicotine explains why some heavy smokers get decay even if they are brushing well