Dr. Gwendolyn Amarquaye-Bayitse, resident dentist of Pepsodent Ghana’s Dental TV Show, ‘Time with the Dentist’, has thrown light on smoking, other destructive habits, and their harmful effects on oral health.
Aside from the dire effects smoking has on general health, Dr. Amarquaye-Bayitse says: “Smoking is one of the most destructive habits to your oral health. Smoking is one of the main causes of bad breath and teeth discolouration due to the tar and nicotine presence”.
She added that: “Smoking may also cause gum disease which progresses faster in smokers than non-smokers. Gum disease may lead to tooth loss. Nicotine in cigarettes reduces the flow of blood to tissues of the mouth. Good blood flow is needed for healing following surgical procedures, like when you have your tooth taken out. In effect, smoking may lead to slow healing in the mouth.”
According to her, smoking may also lead to loss of density in the jawbone, inflammation to the salivary glands – which will lead to decrease in salivation, and increasing the risk of developing oral cancer. She entreated smokers that though it may not be an easy habit to quit, it is achievable with the necessary help, and they should not wait until it’s too late.
In the same episode, Dr. Amarquaye-Bayitse went on to discuss other poor habits that may be destructive to oral health.
“Another poor habit is the use of our teeth as tools. Opening bottles, ripping packages, cutting fabric or holding objects with our teeth puts you at risk of cracking or chipping your teeth, or injuring your gums.’
She entreated fishermen, seamstresses, and carpenters who use their teeth as tools at work to do well to stop the habit. Dr. Amarquaye-Bayitse also cautioned mechanics who use their mouths as pipes to siphon fuel from car tanks using rubber tubes to desist from the act, as it exposes the mouth, including the teeth, to very toxic substances which can erode the tooth surface.
In conclusion, Dr. Gwendolyn Amarquaye-Bayitse advised against brushing the teeth too hard with hard-bristled toothbrushes. She encouraged Ghanaians to use soft toothbrushes like the Pepsodent toothbrush, and fluoridated toothpaste like Pepsodent to maintain good oral health.
‘Time with The Dentist’ is a dental TV show by Pepsodent in partnership with the Ghana Dental Association. The show seeks to educate Ghanaians on basic oral hygiene routines, how to care for the teeth, and some myths and facts associated with maintaining good oral hygiene, among others. It shows weekly on TV3, Adom TV, UTV, MX24 and GHOne TV.