When you smoke, the heat causes damage to your gums and throat. Over time, the gums develop a protective coating of old tissue. This prevents you from feeling pain when you smoke. However, once you quit smoking, that old tissue will slough off, and you will begin to grow new gum tissue. This new tissue is far more sensitive than what you are used to, causing your gums and throat to hurt.
Why you should see a dentist before you quit
When you are preparing to quit smoking, it is important that you visit our office. Not only can we prepare you to deal with any side effects that you may experience with their teeth and gums, it gives us the chance to prepare you for changes that your mouth may undergo as you quit. For example, if you wear dentures, we may need to prepare to have them refitted as your healthy gum tissue begins to grow back. Other dental work such as crowns and bridges may also need to be adjusted.
In some cases, your we will want to carefully check for signs of gum disease. Beginning treatment for this issue may spare you some of the pain as your gum tissue begins to heal. We may also be able to recommend either prescription or over-the-counter medications or mouth rinses that can help with these symptoms in order to make quitting easier for you.
Why you should still quit smoking
Though you may be experiencing some pain after giving up smoking, it will be worth it in the end. Smoking is a known contributor to a number of major dental issues, including tooth discoloration, tooth decay, tooth loss, oral infections, slower gum healing, and reduced effectiveness of certain dental treatments. By quitting, you reduce your risk of these and other issues (such as gum disease). If you expect that you may have problems quitting on your own, your physician may be able to prescribe medications that can help you quit, or recommend local support groups or programs. The gum pain you are experiencing will be short-lived; most patients report that it begins to lessen within a few weeks. The health benefits that you gain from quitting, however, will last a lifetime.
Call Camarillo Smiles now if you have any questions. 805-388-5700