Brown Cloud, Brown Teeth? How Denver’s Pollution is Impacting Your Oral Health

May 21, 2019

Denver – it’s one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, but unfortunately the growing population is having an impact on the city’s climate; more people, means more pollution.  Whether you have been in Denver for a while, or are new to the area, you may have noticed the “brown cloud” – the haze of air pollution surrounding the city. Sadly, our beloved home town ranks among the highest in the country for ozone pollution. Yikes!  

Pollution and Oral Health

While we can look west to see the pollution blocking out the foothills, we don’t often look in the mirror at our teeth to see the impact pollution has on our mouths. Is there a connection between Denver’s air pollution and your oral health? There seems to be. According to a recent study, exposure to air pollution is linked to an increased risk of mouth cancer.

While air pollution may play a role in mouth cancer, tobacco use is still the number one cause. If you are a smoker, vaper or chewer in Denver, you may want to see your dentist for an oral cancer screening called OralID. This technology can help patients and dentists catch and treat oral cancer sooner, early detection is key!

pollution and oral health

Clean Air and Clean Teeth

Keeping a healthy smile is pretty straight forward: brush twice a day, use mouthwash and floss daily, chew sugar-free gum between meals and keep your regularly scheduled dental checkups at least twice a year. Taking measures to quit habits like smoking and chewing tobacco, and drinking alcohol in excess, will also significantly improve oral health. Now keeping the air clean, that’s a whole different matter.

The Clean Air Act was designed for reducing air quality related health conditions and premature death, and was put into force in 1970. Denver legislators continue to work on reducing air pollution by addressing commuter traffic with a Mobility Action Plan which includes increasing mass transit. Up to 40% of the air pollution is a result of the growing oil and gas production industry in the state, which is something that lawmakers are looking to address as well.

Denver Air Pollution and oral health

You can do your part by using mass transit, riding your bike, or car-pooling. Visit Denver’s Way2Go for options to help make Denver and your own mouth healthier.

If you live in the Denver, or the surrounding areas, and are concerned about the impact of pollution on your oral health, or if you have other reasons to be concerned about the health of your mouth, contact PERFECT TEETH today. Find a PERFECT TEETH dental office in Colorado.